General Antisemitism

Update on incident regarding explicitly anti-Semitic cartoon at the website of European-funded Palestinian NGO


On Sept 6, CiF Watch wrote about an ugly anti-Semitic cartoon posted on the website of Palestinian NGO, BADIL (Research Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights) – an NGO funded by European governments including Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and The Netherlands.

Cartoon on website of Palestinian NGO, BADIL

 

Recently, NGO Monitor issued a report detailing their contacts with both BADIL and one of their main funders – DanChurchAid – regarding the anti-Semitic image as well as the broader issue of BADIL’s support for BDS, and extreme demonization of Israel (actions completely inconsistent with DanChurchAid’s stated goals of “improving access to health and medical assistance, peace and reconciliation and gender issues”.) DanChurchAid is an organisation whose activities are financed by private donations and funds from the Danish government (Danida), the UN, EU and other bilateral donors.

The report is posted in full with the permission of NGO-Monitor.

 

BADIL´s Antisemitic Cartoon: Questions for DanChurchAid, Trocaire and Funders

NGO Monitor

October 11, 2010

 

  • On May 5, 2010, the Palestinian NGO BADIL awarded a prize to a blatantly antisemitic cartoon, featuring a grotesque caricature of a Jewish man standing over a dead Arab child and holding a pitchfork dripping with blood.
  • The image was featured on its website until NGO Monitor contacted DanChurchAid, a BADIL partner, and its officials intervened.
  • BADIL’s funding is entirely non-transparent. NGO Monitor research reveals that BADIL’s funders include a number of European governments and church groups, including Trócaire and DanChurchAid.
  • BADIL is a leader in anti-Israeli demonization, including the global BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) campaign, lawfare attempts targeting Israeli officials in international and European courts, and tendentious written and oral statements to the UN Human Rights Council. These activities are inconsistent with peace efforts.
  • In correspondence with NGO Monitor a representative from DanChurchAid agreed that the cartoon was antisemitic, attributing “this unfortunate incident” to “a misjudgment or error on behalf of Badil management.”
  • In response to NGO Monitor’s analysis, BADIL Director Ingrid Jaradat Gassner reiterated the emphasis on demonization. She called on Europeans to support the BDS campaign, and repeated anti-peace propaganda, alleging “Israel has stolen and colonized Palestinian land, displaced millions of our people and imprisoned, tortured, wounded, maimed and killed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.”

Introduction

On May 5, 2010, the Palestinian “right of return” NGO known as BADIL announced the winners of its 2010 “Al-Awda Awards” at ceremonies in Ramallah and Gaza. Second place in the “Best Caricature” category and $600 were awarded to a blatantly antisemitic cartoon, featuring a grotesque caricature of a Jewish man standing over a dead Arab child and holding a pitchfork dripping with blood.

BADIL’s funders include a number of European governments and church groups, including Trócaire and DanChurchAid (DCA), even though this type of incitement violates the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ antisemitism guidelines. The guidelines explicitly refer to the employment of “sinister stereotypes and negative character traits,” as well as the use of “the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.”

BADIL’s caricature features a stereotypical representation of a Jewish man in traditional Hasidic attire, with sidelocks and a hooked nose. Reflecting blood libel accusations, he has a menacing grin, and is surrounded by dead and dying Arab children and skulls. He is standing on a platform with “1948” on it, and the symbol of the State of Israel (Star of David), labeling the establishment of Israel as murderous and evil.

The offensive cartoon was displayed at an exhibition in Ramallah, and then published on BADIL’s website. In August, NGO Monitor included reference to this cartoon in correspondence with DCA, one of BADIL’s partners, and the image was removed from parts of the website; following further correspondence on this matter, by October it had been completely removed and was replaced with a disclaimer: “This cartoon does not meet BADIL standards, and measures have been taken in order to ensure that future winning entries to the Awda-Award will comply with these standards.” There is no indication that the award was withdrawn from the producer of the cartoon.

BADIL’s Wider Agenda

BADIL’s funding is entirely non-transparent. Independent research reveals that BADIL received $100,000 via the NDC (joint funding of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands) in 2008-9. BADIL has also received funding from DanChurchAid  (DCA) and Trócaire (the Irish Catholic Church’s humanitarian aid organization that receives most of its funding from the Irish government).

(NGO Monitor requested information from DCA and Swiss Aid regarding their funding for BADIL, but did not receive a response at publication time.)

The larger framework of BADIL’s ideology is premised on promoting a so-called Palestinian “right of return,” and rejecting Israel as a Jewish state. BADIL’s website describes the establishment of the State of Israel as follows: “Forced displacement which created the refugee issue, has been yet another dimension of the Zionist project to establish the state of Israel as a racist colonial entity” (emphasis added). Like the cartoon, this rhetoric is a political variant of antisemitism, as defined by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

BADIL is a leader in the global BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) campaign, featuring aBDS campaign update on its website.  In 2007, BADIL published a strategy document aimed at antagonizing Jews, advocating efforts to “[e]nlist journalists to organize a targeted campaign to expose the lies of AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League and to expose the Jewish and Zionist community’s double standards regarding Nakba & Occupation.”

BADIL is similarly involved in lawfare attempts to prosecute Israeli military officials in international and European courts, and has accused Israel ofgenocideand “slow genocide.” Another focus is submitting condemnatory written and oral statements to the UN Human Rights Council.

Funder Response: DanChurchAid

One of BADIL’s most prominent supporters and funders is DanChurchAid (DCA), a major Danish “faith-based and ecumenical, non-missionary organisation rooted in the Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church.” In a 2006 evaluation of BADIL, conducted by DCA and Trócaire, BADIL was praised for its “important role in the coordination and launching of the BDS campaign.”

On August 25, 2010 NGO Monitor wrote to DCA officials, asking whether they were familiar with the cartoon and whether DCA had funded the contest. DCA claimed that they did not fund the Al-Awda Awards, and were unaware of the cartoon. The regional DCA representative, however, agreed that the cartoon was antisemitic, but attributed “this unfortunate incident” to “a misjudgment or error on behalf of Badil management.”(Click here to read the full correspondence.)

NGO Monitor also raised the problem of DCA support for radical NGOs that obstruct peace efforts and reject a “two-state” solution, such as BADIL, in a September 14, 2010 op-ed in the Danish-language Berlingske Tidende.. In a follow-up article (September 23), NGO Monitor showed how BADIL’s antisemitic cartoon was an example of the immorality of some of DanChurchAid’s partnerships.

BADIL Director Ingrid Jaradat Gassneresponded (September 25) by calling on “the populations and governments in Europe” to “support the BDS Campaign because it advocates a just peace” (translation by NGO Monitor).  She also alleged that “For decades, Israel has stolen and colonized Palestinian land, displaced millions of our people and imprisoned, tortured, wounded , maimed and killed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.” Gassner completely ignored the cartoon and did not deny that it was antisemitic.

DCA General Director Henrik Stubjkaer also replied to NGO Monitor’s analysis. He affirmed that BADIL’s cartoon is antisemitic, but also reiterated that DCA considers the partnership with BADIL important” because DCA was able to “call BADIL and criticize the poster, which was then removed. In our opinion, such a dialogue also contributes to peace” (translation by NGO Monitor).

Conclusion

In contrast to peace and compromise, BADIL’s political agenda focuses on extensive advocacy for a Palestinian “right of return,” rejection of normalization with Israel, and demonization of Israel as a “racist state.” As demonstrated by the highly offensive cartoon, which won an award as part of a mobilizationcampaign for commemorating the “Nakba” (catastrophe) of 1948, this agenda is rooted in an antisemitic ideology, manifested in classic and modern forms, that precludes and vilifies Israel and Jews.

By funding and supporting BADIL’s activities, NGOs such as DanChurchAid and Trocaire are facilitating incitement, including classic antisemitic themes. It is immoral to partner with an organization that rewards blatant antisemitism and uses highly offensive images as part of its anti-Israel campaigns.

The governments and taxpayers of Denmark and Ireland, respectively, which heavily fund these organizations, are also implicated. This example further highlights the need for an independent and systematic examination of all funding for political advocacy NGOs active in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

12 replies »

  1. The Guardian’s cartoons on Israel are not very different than these sick and demented palestinian ones.

    What sort of deformed minds could come up with this kind of filth.

    No wonder that these people are going nowhere.

  2. Headline in today’s Guardian:

    “Fort Hood inquiry to call witnesses
    Major Nidal Hasan, accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 on Texas base, to face his alleged victims”

    Alleged victims ? I thought that the accused is “alleged” until found guilty !

  3. I’m sure that that is a small mistake.

    The editor was fantasizing about ‘alleged’ freedom fighters and the word somehow slipped into the text.

  4. MTC,

    I hear you but I believe the word alleged is to do with the word “his”.

    There is only one guilty party in the Guardian without a trial.
    Anything resembling Israel.

  5. The 7/7 inquiry is starting today. I wonder if the Guardian will write about the “alleged victims”.

  6. What I always find interesting about these cartoons is the depiction of Jews in what one can only describe as traditional ultra-Orthodox garb. The Jew in the cartoon is obviously not a kibbutznik, or secular Israeli enjoying the good life in the TA bubble. He’s not even the sort of hill-top crazy that the settlement issue is about. He is the sort of ultra-Orthodox Jew who one might find attending a holocaust-denial conference calling for the destruction of Israel hosted by Ahmadinajad.

    Some of those Jews ought to stop and rethink their position regarding Israel and how they will, in fact be treated, if ever Israel should fall into Arab hands.

  7. MindTheCrap

    Alleged victims ? I thought that the accused is “alleged” until found guilty !

    There are two possibilities for the CYA use of “alleged”:

    1. They were shot by invisible aliens and therefore the Guardian is scared Nidal will sue the paper for stating that he did it

    2. The Guardian is scared Nidal will sue the paper for understating the number of victims thus misrepresenting his jihadi credentials.

  8. It’s unbelievable how this was hushed up till now,no mention of it for months.
    This silencing has come from the very top.

    He killed thirteen soldiers,and injured scores,yet this was as if nothing happened.A devout Muslim goes on a murderous killing spree,shouting Allah Hu-Akbar.And it gets hushed up.

    Just imagine if a Jew or an Israeli did the same thing,the Guardian would be wetting themselves.We would be getting endless articles and cartoons about it,from the shitty Guardian.BTW what happened to Ben White,is he on a Haj to Mecca.

  9. Good God. Having turned the menora into a bloody pitchfork, all that’s missing are the horns and tails.

    @ benorr

    BTW what happened to Ben White,is he on a Haj to Mecca.

    It seems he was the “keynote speaker” at an Amnesty even a few months ago.
    http://www.amnesty.org.uk/events_details.asp?ID=1524

    Unbelievable.
    And I wonder if he still writes for Christian Aid’s youth-oriented website.