April 2, 2013
Palestinian non-profit belatedly apologizes for blood libel article
A Palestinian non-profit organization has removed an article from its website that accused Jews of using "the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover.”
The Miftah organization, founded by Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi and funded by European and Western governments, reportedly apologized for publishing the article, after first refusing to apologize and condemning the Jewish bloggers who publicized the article.
The apology was first reported by Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon.
The apology expressed the organization's "sincerest regret."
"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," the apology issued Monday said.
The original article in Arabic by Nawaf Al Zaru was first exposed by the Elder of Ziyon blog. It criticized President Obama for his tribute to Passover, by holding a seder in the White House.
“Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between ‘Passover’ and ‘Christian blood’..?! Or ‘Passover’ and ‘Jewish blood rituals?!’” read the article posted March 27. “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.”
Miftah on March 30 defended the publishing of the article in a statement on its website, calling it a "smear campaign."
Miftah receives government funding from countries including Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Germany, Ireland, and Norway, and from U.S.-funded NGOs that receive government funding, NGO Monitor reported.