PMW Bulletins
PMW report causes 4 European countries to stop funding Palestinian center
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PMW report causes Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Holland
to stop funding Palestinian women's committee
because it named a center
after terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi
 
  • Palestinian committee "condemned" donor countries' decision, considering the name of the center an expression of "the legal Palestinian struggle as a liberation movement against colonialism and the Israeli occupation"
     
  • Committee: "This political decision is a dangerous sign... [of] their submission to the false Israeli occupation narrative and its pressures"
  • Committee: Decision "likely to be the start of a torrent of [donor] dictates that are nationally unacceptable"
By Nan Jacques Zilberdik

When Palestinian Media Watch exposed the naming of a Palestinian women's empowerment center after terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi this summer, the international donors who had supported the Women's Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) building the center announced they would stop funding it. First Norway, whose name appeared prominently on the center's sign together with that of the UN, announced its withdrawal of funding, then Denmark followed suit, and later the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (HR/IHL Secretariat) - a donor program sponsored by Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland - also decided to stop funding the WATC.

Reacting to the donors' withdrawal of their support, the WATC "condemned" their decision, stating in a press release that:
"The committee considered this to be an adoption of the Israeli occupation's narrative regarding the history of the legal Palestinian struggle as a liberation movement against colonialism and the Israeli occupation that continue to this day, which is identical to all the other liberation movements in history."
[Wattan, independent Palestinian news agency, Oct. 29, 2017]

The WATC said that the donors' political decision is "a dangerous sign... [of] their submission to the false Israeli occupation narrative and its pressures," and rejected it as "political extortion." The head of the WATC board of directors, Samia Bamia, expressed the committee's opposition to the decision:

"We will not agree to erase our memory or condemn our history [in exchange] for funding."

In a radio interview, Samia Bamia stated that the donors' decision to condition funding on the change of the name of the Dalal Mughrabi Center constitutes "a danger," and is an attempt to alter the Palestinian "consciousness" and change Palestinian "identity and history":

"When they [the funding states] talk about an agenda of equality we are for [it]. [When] they talk about an agenda of democracy we are for [it]. [When] they talk about an agenda of human rights we are for [it]. But when national belonging turns into something forbidden, here the danger begins. Despite the fact that we are working in the field of women's rights, they came to settle accounts with us over our thoughts about our nationality and its defense... What is happening now... is an attempt to brand our national consciousness. An attempt [to make] me... accept the occupier's narrative, which these [funding] states are adopting... I think the stage is more dangerous now, because they are not only taking the land and the future from you by force, but they [also] want to take your identity and history from you by force."
[The Voice of Palestine, the official PA radio station, Oct. 31, 2017]

In its press release, the WATC also emphasized that it has no intention of complying with the donor countries' demands to rename the center, and instead called on Palestinians to continue being "loyal to the cause" of which terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi is a known symbol, as documented by PMW:

"The national duty and historical responsibility that is placed on all of our shoulders requires us to unify efforts against these policies and conditions, and emphasize our loyalty to our cause, our national and legal rights, and our people's struggle that is continuing until the achievement of freedom, return [for the refugees], and independence."
[Wattan, independent Palestinian news agency, Oct. 29, 2017]

PMW has documented the PA and Fatah's policy of glorifying terrorist murderers and naming streets, institutions, and events after them.

The following are longer excerpts of the reports mentioned above:
Headline: "Women's Affairs Technical Committee: The donor states have stopped the funding due to Martyr Mughrabi's name"
"The Women's Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) condemned the accusations of incitement and violence that were directed against it by a group of donor states that constitute the Human Rights and International [Humanitarian] Law Secretariat, including Denmark, Holland, Sweden, and Switzerland.
These states stopped funding the committee because it established an empowerment center for women and young people in the village of Burqa, north of Ramallah, which is named after Martyr (Shahida) Dalal Mughrabi (i.e., terrorist who led murder of 37, 12 of them children) - which according to them is considered incitement and encouragement of violence.
In a statement that was distributed at a press conference held at the committee's headquarters in Ramallah today, Sunday [Oct. 29, 2017], the committee condemned the donor states' decision, [which was made] as part of a plan concerning human rights and international humanitarian law, to punish a Palestinian women's institution that is committed to human rights, international law, and humanitarian law. The committee considered this to be an adoption of the Israeli occupation's narrative regarding the history of the legal Palestinian struggle as a liberation movement against colonialism and the Israeli occupation that continue to this day, which is identical to all the other liberation movements in history. This is while Israel, the occupying force, is not required to give an accounting of the most awful crimes that it has committed and is still committing against our people.
The committee said that this political decision is a dangerous sign that not only indicates the fact that the states are not fulfilling their duty according to international and humanitarian law, but also their submission to the false Israeli occupation narrative and its pressures...
The committee expressed its complete rejection of the attempt to use funding as a means of political extortion, and emphasized that the cancelation of the funding by the secretariat will cause great damage to the committee's activities and its programs to strengthen Palestinian women's participation in all areas of life. The committee also emphasized that it will not agree to exchange its principles and national and social role for conditional funding...
The committee called on the partners in the civil society institutions to stand together against this political extortion by several of the donors, and to thwart Israel's attempts to use donors in order to besiege sectors within our people and our national institutions. The committee warned against the dangerous consequences that agreeing to these terms is liable to cause, as this decision against the committee and the conditions that were placed before it are likely to be the start of a torrent of dictates that are nationally unacceptable. This is as the national duty and historical responsibility that is placed on all of our shoulders requires us to unify efforts against these policies and conditions, and emphasize our loyalty to our cause, our national and legal rights, and our people's struggle that is continuing until the achievement of freedom, return [for the refugees], and independence...
Women's Affairs Technical Committee board of directors Head Samia Bamia emphasized that 'We explained our position to the [donor] representatives, [which is] that they do not have a right to punish us because accusing us of incitement is unacceptable, and because we will not be silent and will oppose this step, and we will not agree to erase our memory or condemn our history [in exchange] for funding. Therefore, we have decided to turn to the public, which we hope will act and help us, and we will not allow them to accuse us due to a national position.'
She also said: 'The true criminal is the occupation, and it is the one worthy of condemnation.'"
[Wattan, independent Palestinian news agency, Oct. 29, 2017]

Women's Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) - a Palestinian NGO committed to advocate Palestinian women's rights. WATC states on its website that many of its members are also members of the PLO but the WATC itself is not a member of the PLO.

Dalal Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway, murdering 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.

The Voice of Palestine, the official PA radio station, program On the Table, on foreign donor states cutting funding for the Women's Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) after it named a center in the village of Burqa, north of Ramallah, after terrorist Dalal Mughrabi - who led the murder of 37, 12 of them children; hosting Women's Affairs Technical Committee board of directors Head Samia Bamia and thinker and investigator Najed Shahin.
Official PA radio host: "The funders are placing conditions on our receipt of the funding, and accusing us of incitement and terror due to the naming of the women's center after Martyr (Shahida) Dalal Mughrabi (i.e., terrorist who led murder of 37, 12 of them children) - this is what Women's Affairs Technical Committee board of directors Head Samia Bamia emphasized in a press conference yesterday [Oct. 30, 2017].
...
Why does Martyr Dalal Mughrabi's name arouse the anger of the funding bodies with which you have been partners side by side in a number of plans and projects over several years? And on the other hand, is this the first clash to take place between the Women's Affairs Technical Committee and the funding bodies?"
Women's Affairs Technical Committee board of directors Head Samia Bamia: "The naming was by the residents of [the village of] Burqa, the women of Burqa. The staff [of the committee] had no role [in it], and had no right to tell the residents which name to choose...
When they [the funding states] talk about an agenda of equality we are for [it]. [When] they talk about an agenda of democracy we are for [it]. [When] they talk about an agenda of human rights we are for [it]. But when national belonging turns into something forbidden, here the danger begins. Despite the fact that we are working in the field of women's rights, they came to settle accounts with us over our thoughts about our nationality and its defense. I think that we need to be more alert. What is happening now and in stages - although now it is intensifying - is an attempt to brand our national consciousness. An attempt [to make] me not only accept an agenda that is connected to development, but also make me accept the occupier's narrative, which these [funding] states are adopting. I, as a victim of this occupier, will remain in the end as if I was the hangman... I think that the stage is more dangerous now, because they are not only taking the land and the future from you by force, but they [also] want to take your identity and history from you by force."
[The Voice of Palestine, the official PA radio station, Oct. 31, 2017]