ADL, Wiesenthal Center Slam MIFTAH for Defending Publication of Passover Blood Libel Article

March 31, 2013 3:09 pm 25 comments

The MIFTAH logo. Photo: MIFTAH.org

Two prominent Jewish civil rights groups have slammed a Palestinian NGO for opting not to apologize for publishing an article which promoted the classic anti-Semitic Passover blood libel accusation on its website. Both the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have voiced their dismay that MIFTAH, which is chaired by Hanan Ashrawi, a well known media personality in the West and which posted the article that claimed “Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover,” has not apologized, and in fact asserts the publication of the blood libel was in keeping with its policy of “open dialogue.”

“They have compounded the offense, by now asserting they are the injured party,” the ADL told The Algemeiner.

“The MIFTAH statement defending the decision to post the blatantly anti-Semitic article by al-Zaru on its Arabic language Web site and claiming it is being “smeared” is outrageous.  They made a bad mistake and they should have offered a full-throated and sincere apology,” added the 100 year old NGO.

“In defending its publication of an article on the Miftah website which hatefully invoked the oldest anti-Jewish canard of all, the Blood Libel to slander the Jewish nation during Passover, the Palestinian NGO cites its commitment to “open dialogue”. With whom? Genocidal Jew-haters?”  Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner in an email.

“Tragically, the publication of this Arabic language article is in keeping with the ongoing campaign to demonize the nation of Israel, Jews, and Judaism, once assumed to be the domain only of Hamas, The Muslim Brotherhood and Iran but that today taints the PA and some of its supporters,” he added.

Cooper also said that the publication of accusations such as this one hurt the cause of Peace. “It is not lost that the editorial decision by Miftah to provide a platform for this canard took place in wake of President Obama’s trip to the Holy Land where he tried to re-instill hopes for peace and reconciliation. Every anti-Semitic slander in the theological, academic and media domains further erode such hopes,” he said.

“Perhaps the editors of Ms Ashrawi’s Miftah should do exit interviews with Arabs, including those from Gaza, whose lives have been saved through blood transfusions at Icholov, Rambam, Shaare Tzedeck and Hadassah hospitals in Israel,” concluded Cooper

The ADL called out Ashrawi by name saying, “Hanan Ashrawi certainly knows better and so should those responsible for posting the highly offensive article.”

The organization also provided a list of complaints against the actions of MIFTAH highlighting multiple offenses.  ”There are several things wrong here” wrote the ADL, “first, an irresponsible editorial decision to post the article containing the classical anti-Semitic blood libel charge – second, the article only appeared on the Arabic language site, makes clear it was intended primarily for an Arabic speaking audience – third, the completely unacceptable defense of the posting.”

MIFTAH’s office in Ramallah could not immediately be reached by The Algemeiner for comment.

MIFTAH receives funding from several international donors including Oxfam UK, UNESCO and until recently, the United States Government.

25 Comments

  • Using the blood libel is how Palestinian Christians like Hannan Ashrawi avoid the uncomfortable/inconvenient truth about the flight of Christian Palestinians from the PA and Gaza.

  • From the MIFTAH website, April 1, 2013.
    Finished.

    Apology
    Date posted: April 01, 2013
    By MIFTAH
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    The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, MIFTAH would like to apologize for the recent and brief publication on our website of an article penned by Nawaf Al Zaru that discusses Jewish blood libel during Passover.

    It has become clear to us after investigating this incident that the article was accidentally and incorrectly published by a junior staff member. The said staffer has been reprimanded and all our staff has been informed as to the disgusting and repulsive phenomena of blood libel or accusation, including its use against Jews. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, as founder, has nothing to do with the day to day management at MIFTAH and was no way involved in this incident.

    We express our sincerest regret for offense caused by the oversight that resulted in said publication. We are whole-heartedly committed to fighting racism, hatemongering, discrimination and persecution of any kind wherever it should exist, and especially in our own society.

  • The blood libels of the so called moderate arabs don’t surprise me. For decades the arabs have reached the bottom and then kept digging.

    What surprises me is that the wider non Jewish community don’t even bother to comment on bllod libels and racist bile from the likes of ashrawi, or from arabs throughout the Middle East, and accross the wider muslim world. Rather, they expect Israel to make concessions to pesuade these screwballs to make peace with Israel, indeed, to create yet anothe screwball state which wil ‘live alongside Israel in peace and harmony’.

    Would any civilised person expect a raped woman to marry her rapist? Yet this is exactly what the world expects of Israel and the Jews, even in the face of racist bile from ‘moderates’ like Ashrawi.

    It isn’t settlements that prevent peace in the ME, nor is it apologies form Israel for defending itself, nor is it poor impoverished gaza (with its modern shopping malls and well stocked markets). The lack of peace in the ME is ONLY to do with arab and islamic antisemitic racism and a longing to finish *itler’s work. And the lack of reaction by the chattering classes in the west to ashrawi’s blood libel is typical of the reason why the arabs and muslims know they can carry on fighting without cost to themselves.

    If Obama cut off all funding to the PA until an apology was forthcoming in every prominent media outlet worldwide, then the arabs might start to get it. But Obama maintains the myth that Jews living on Jewish land are the problem. So don’t expect peace for four years at least. If ever.

  • Bathsheva Gladstone

    Open dialogue? palestine? Is this the same palestine that just threw a couple of their own journalists in the pokey for questioning the ethics of one their filthy degenerate politicians? Just gotta love that consistency!!

  • Jaqueline: What Paul Goebbels said, as Hitler’s “mouthpiece”, was that ” if you repeat “A LIE” enough times, people will believe it.” It was true. The Germans believed they were “the Master Race”. Yeah, right. They mastered MASS MURDER.

    JEWS AREN’T THE ONLY ONES WHO HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN. TRY MOST OF EUROPE AND THE U.K. ‘NEVER FORGET” ISN’T ONLY FOR THE JEWS. ADD POLAND, FRANCE, THE U.K., CZECHOSLOVAKIA, AND CHECK YOUR HISTORY BOOK FOR MORE. THEY WERE MANIACAL MURDERS. GIVEN THE CHANCE, THEY WILL DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    To reply to the absurd or not to reply–I have been debating with myself all day today. It would be so easy to ignore the odium projected in the Arabic-speaking media in the Palestinian Authority. It would be absolutely understandable that I avoid uttering any negativity during Passover, a time for Jews to rejoice. Notwithstanding, it is inexcusable that I be indifferent to the hatred that continues to incite the majority of Arabs living in the PA. So I will offer just one notion for those who would truly wish to debate about the peace between Israel and the Arabs, who seek the peace: For sixty-five years now–three generations–there have been all-out war, wars of attrition, threats of annihilation, violence, bitterness, deceit, repudiation, revisionism, taqiyyah, dhimmitude, fatwas, intifadas, hudnas, jihads of various sorts, hatred and doublespeak in the school curricula, hatred and doublespeak in the summer camps, hatred and doublespeak on the street corners, hatred and doublespeak in the media, homicide bombings, shahids for death, land for war and more war. With more than six million Jewish inhabitants in Israel today, the largest concentration of Jews in one place in the world, it is time for the Arabs living in the environs of Israel to speak directly on the commonality of beliefs in one Divine Being, on the commonality of beliefs that life is sacred to every human being, on the commonality of beliefs that human record cannot be changed to suit the whims of the present moment. History, theology, archaeology, modern technology, and age-old culture all have their place in building a viable civilizations for Arabs and Jews and Jews and Arabs. Respect for human dignity must be at the foundation for any negotiations may begin. You know, a couple of days ago I watched a You Tube video clip about a clinic in Aleppo where children helped care for the wounded and the dying. One eleven-year-old boy was cleaning a wound on a man one day. . .and the next day the boy was a corpse on a gurney. The Muslim against Muslim war in Syria has taken its toll on the humanity one witnesses there. Isn’t enough enough? Isn’t it time to show our children–Jew, Muslim, Christian–love for life, love for the future, and love for the Almighty? Elohim, Allah, the Father are One. Let us human beings, His creations, praise Him through our greatest gift: our humanity!

  • The most important aspect of this story is that it exposes how some of the major charities (notably Oxfam) are deceiving the public who, when they donate their hard earned cash, wrongly assume it is going purely to help the starving in Africa (or something similar). Please see:

    http://edgar1981.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/charities-funding-palestinian-jew-hatred.html

  • Algemeiner:

    Your writers make a big mistake by replying to the likes of MIFTAH, by helping them publicize their continuous rounds of smut and lies. SILENCE IS THE BEST REPLY OF ALL. Your opponents and sheer enemies must surely delight in all the free publicity you provide them. Just think, you could drive them up the WALL if you would only WRITE YOUR TRUTH, SIT BACK, AND NOT CALL ATTENTION TO THE LIARS AND HATERS WHO have followed the Jews from time immemorial. Just write the truth. Let your detractors write what they want: the more they write, the more ridiculous they will make themselves. Try it. You have nothing to lose. Just wait quietly. Soon enough, they will write themselves into their own lies. You can just stand by and watch them make fools of themselves, and not say a word. You should also make a big point in continuously reminding folks that the guy the all love so much (initials J.C.) was a JEW from start to finish. He was sorely misunderstood, but as I see it, He was only trying to bring his own people, the Jews, closer to G-d by saying, in essence, “follow me!”. It seemed audacious then and probably be would today, but I think all that Jesus meant was to bring JEWS closer to G-D! It sorta got lost in conveying the message.

    Jus’ think: what if people ever realized that JESUS was one of the a GREATEST JEWS OF ALL TIME!?? Ha-ha…where would that leave all those idiots who hate the Jews??? They’ll be SCREAMING IN ALL DIRECTIONS!! You would really pull the rug out from all of ‘em!!! Your reply would be appreciated. I’d love to write for you guys.
    ‘d love t’ see you do do.

    • Marcello Petrigh

      I agree to many things you are saying, not all.
      I am of Italian origin born in Beirut, where my dad used to work at the Italian consulate.Later on (in 1971) I married a Lebanese woman of Palestinian origin born in Haifa in 1943. She had to flea at five years, with her parents and 7 brothers and sisters, because of the Israeli bombing and shelling (which continuous until today). Why is that so ? I am not antisemitic nor is any of my family. The mid-wife who brought me and my brother to this world, Liza Mann, was a Jewish lady, and her son, Dr. Albert Mann, was the family doctor for many years, until they had to leave at the beginning of the Israeli/Arab war.
      WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS. CAN’T WE FIND A SOLUTION ????
      (Please don’t insult Hanan Ashrawi, I know exactly who she is. Thanks)

    • Jaqueline: What Paul Goebbels said, as Hitler’s “mouthpiece”, was that ” if you repeat “A LIE” enough times, people will believe it.” It was true. The Germans believed they were “the Master Race”. Yeah, right. They mastered MASS MURDER.

  • David S. Most

    Even a so-called “moderate” like Ashrawi will let go by anti-Semitic and vicious ancient lies like the ‘blood libel’. I wonder if she and Peter Jennings, late ABC news broadcaster, shared this kind of thinking?
    She has been connected so long with the Jew-haters of the PA and Hamas some of the virus has migrated into her blood. The disease in Islam is virulently contagious!

    • Hanan Ashrawi si not & never has been a ‘moderate’

      She was Arafat’s right hand ‘man’ and personally spread his message of hatred all over the world, as she travelled from country to country paid for by the UN special committe on Israeli practices(with money collected from ALL its member states) and indoctrinating journalists and others wherever she landed about the vile nature of the State of Israel. She bears special responsibility for today’s worldwide fad of demonizing the Jewish state.

      It’s time to stop giving such people a pass.

  • A very funny question??? If the Israelies are not civilians!!! Why are Arabs from the Gaza strip and other Arab countries come to Israeli hospital???????????

  • why would these ignorant Arabs who were on the side of Hitler during the war be any different today. they learned well from goebbells that if you repeat a statement long enough people will believe it. my question is how can our universities allow the boycott Israel in our universities are the Palestinian students here as shills for the ignorance in the Middle East?

  • I wanted to share this article, and went to find any media response direct from ADL or Wiesenthal Center, and could not find one. Where are their statements?

  • you must be joking!!!!!!

  • ashraopui the crap

  • Anyone who has followed Hanan Ashrawi over the years know that she has no legitimacy. The Israelis are always the sole cause of any perceived wrongs. Yet I still remember Palestinians dancing at the news of 9/11. Don’t forget!

  • And what did you exacty expect from somebody like Hanan Ashrawi? It would be like having a retreat from Hitler on his policy.

    Mrs. Ashrawi should every morning, when she wakes up thank G-g for giving to humanity the Jewish people. If she end her children are not suffering from Polio, she should thank a Jewish doctor, and I could go on to enumerate more samples of needed to give thanks, but maybe it would be nice to read from Mrs. Asharawi what exactly has been the blessing humanity has received from the Palestinians……that would be a refreshing point

    • And what did you exacty expect from somebody like Hanan Ashrawi? It would be like having a retreat from Hitler on his policy.

      Mrs. Ashrawi should every morning, when she wakes up thank G-g for giving to humanity the Jewish people. If she end her children are not suffering from Polio, she should thank a Jewish doctor, and I could go on to enumerate more samples of needed to give thanks, but maybe it would be nice to read from Mrs. Ashrawi what exactly has been the blessing humanity has received from the Palestinians……that would be a new refreshing point

    • And what did you exacty expect from somebody like Hanan Ashrawi?

      Mrs. Ashrawi should every morning, when she wakes up thank G-g for giving to humanity the Jewish people. If she end her children are not suffering from Polio, she should thank a Jewish doctor, and I could go on to enumerate more samples of needed to give thanks, but maybe it would be nice to read from Mrs. Asharawi what exactly has been the blessing humanity has received from the Palestinians……that would be a refreshing point

  • Muslims revere a sociopath named Muhammad who personally decapitated 900 unarmed Jews at Quarayza. It is a small step from revering a sociopath to repeating the blood libel..
    The foundational antisemetism of the Koran makes all this other antisemetic garbage probable.

  • Does ‘open dialogue’ mean denigrating child raping, murderous Mohammed ?? nah.. didnt think so… ‘open dialogue’ appears a one way street as far as islam is concerned

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