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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Passover blood libel in Hanan Ashrawi's "Miftah" website (UPDATE)

Miftah 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.
Hanan Ashrawi, a darling in the Western media, remains the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Miftah.

In Miftah's Arabic edition there is an article railing against President Obama's speech to Israeli students. But one part of the speech particularly raised the ire of the author, Nawaf al-Zaru.

Obama said:
I also know that I come to Israel on the eve of a sacred holiday – the celebration of Passover. And that is where I would like to begin today. Just a few days from now, Jews here in Israel and around the world will sit with family and friends at the Seder table, and celebrate with songs, wine and symbolic foods. After enjoying Seders with family and friends in Chicago and on the campaign trail, I’m proud to have brought this tradition into the White House. I did so because I wanted my daughters to experience the Haggadah, and the story at the center of Passover that makes this time of year so powerful.

It is a story of centuries of slavery, and years of wandering in the desert; a story of perseverance amidst persecution, and faith in God and the Torah. It is a story about finding freedom in your own land. For the Jewish people, this story is central to who you have become.
Al-Zaru asks:

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 ...
He then quotes a 2007 Haaretz article on a book by a Bar-Ilan University professor that bizarrely claimed that a few blood libels could have had a basis in fact, without noting that the same professor recanted those claims a year later.

The upshot is that a journal run by "moderate" Hanan Ashrawi is pushing the Passover blood libel, and you will be hard pressed to find a "moderate" Arab condemning this article. I couldn't.

Unfortunately, CNN won't think to ask her about this the next time they trot her out on TV.

UPDATE: NGO Monitor has this about Miftah:
Funding: Donors include the Anna Lindh Foundation (funding from the EU), Ford Foundation, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Austria, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Heinrich Boell Stiftung, UNFPA, Konard Adenauer Stiftung. In 2009, Miftah’s budget was $891,685.

The financial support from Anna Lindh and Ford Foundation, as well as previous funding from the EU, is for a joint project with Israeli NGO “Keshev,” “which aims to improve media discourse in both Palestinian and Israeli media through monitoring, research, advocacy and lobbying activities.”

UPDATE 2: The article has been taken down.

Of course, I have screenshots of both the original Arabic and the English auto-translation. Click to enlarge.




UPDATE 3: I have an update here.

UPDATE 4 :MEMRI translated the article, which was published elsewhere. If anything, it is even worse than what I wrote.