Arjan El Fassed

Arjan El Fassed (born August 5, 1973 in Vlaardingen) is director of Open State Foundation. He is a former Dutch politician and human rights activist as well as development aid worker. As a member of GreenLeft (GroenLinks) he was an MP from June 17, 2010 to September 19, 2012. He focused on matters of development aid, foreign policy, digital rights, open data and transparency.

Arjan El Fassed
Arjan El Fassed.jpg
Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands
In office
June 17, 2010 – September 19, 2012
Personal details
Arjan El Fassed

(1973-08-05) August 5, 1973 (age 46)
Vlaardingen, Netherlands
Political partyGreenLeft (GroenLinks - GL)
ResidenceUtrecht, Netherlands
Alma materLeiden University (M.A., Political science)
OccupationPolitician, development aid worker, human rights activist
Website(in Dutch) Arjan El Fassed


El Fassed studied political science at Leiden University and worked as a lobbyist and advisor for several human rights and humanitarian organizations, among others Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights (LAW), the Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO), Oxfam Novib as well as Oxfam International.

He is co-founder of The Electronic Intifada (ei), a website that claims to provide a Palestinian point of view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, although many of its articles are written by non-Palestinians. He quit his involvement for the site in 2009.

In 2007 El Fassed was involved in a spoof involving a letter allegedly written by Nelson Mandela to The New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman.[1] The letter made comparison between South African apartheid to Israel's treatment of Palestinians. The memo was widely cited even by President Jimmy Carter. In 2007, political writer Joel Pollack revealed that the memo was drafted by El Fassed[2] who eventually wrote his own blog post professing that the memo was in fact his own creation.[3]

From June 2010 until September 2012 he was a member of the Dutch House of Representatives. Since 2013 he is director of the Open State Foundation, a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands that promotes democratic transparency, accountability and participation with the development of online platforms and promotes unlocking and re-use of open (government) data.


  • 2008: Niet iedereen kan stenen gooien: Een Nederlandse Palestijn op zoek naar zijn wortels en identiteit, ISBN 978-90-8645-027-5



  1. ^ arjan (2003-10-14). "Mandela's First Memo to Thomas Friedman". The Electronic Intifada. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  2. ^ "The big lie: that Mandela viewed Israel as an apartheid state". Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  3. ^

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