The Ashrawi angle

Western governments funnel hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian non-government institutions. One such is Hanan Ashrawi’s MIFTAH, which describes itself this way:

Established in Jerusalem in December 1998, with Hanan Ashrawi as its Secretary-General, MIFTAH seeks to promote the principles of democracy and good governance within various components of Palestinian society; it further seeks to engage local and international public opinion and official circles on the Palestinian cause. To that end, MIFTAH adopts the mechanisms of an active and in-depth dialogue, the free flow of information and ideas, as well as local and international networking.

The European Union and, as of 2010, the United States, funds MIFTAH, as do other major funders such as the Ford Foundation. But what kind of “dialogue” does MIFTAH promote?

While in Israel, President Obama spoke of Passover to Israeli students as a “sacred holiday.” This was too much for one Nawaf al-Zaru, who sought to set the record straight on the Arabic-language version of MIFTAH’s site:

Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between “Passover” and “Christian blood” ..?! Or “Passover” and “Jewish blood rituals..?!

Much of the chatter and gossip about historical Jewish blood rituals in Europe are real and not fake as they claim; the Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover…

Ashrawi is a cable news fixture and a liberal media darling and diplomat. It’s a good gig and Ashrawi knows what is required to keep it going. Having been called out by the Elder of Ziyon, Ashrawi hung tough. Elder followed up with posts here, here, and here.

MIFTAH responded with a denunciation of Elder of Ziyon as an obscure pro-Israeli blogger promoting a “smear campaign.” MIFTAH wanted it known that it had just been furthering “dialogue.” In a post dated April 1, however, MIFTAH has succumbed to second thoughts (emphasis in original):

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.

As for the April 1 publication date, make of it what you will.

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