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Organizations file complaint against British charity, alleging ties to terrorists

“We allege in this complaint that War on Want misuses charitable funds to serve clearly political goals that are not connected to the public good,” said Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UK Lawyers for Israel.

John Hilary, executive director of War on Want, talking about the BDS movement against Israel. Screenshot: YouTube.
John Hilary, executive director of War on Want, talking about the BDS movement against Israel. Screenshot: YouTube.

A complaint was filed on Tuesday against the British charity War on Want, alleging ties between the entity and terrorist groups like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The Lawfare Project, a nonprofit human-rights group, and UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), a voluntary organization that fights against delegitimization of Israel, filed the complaint with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, accusing the anti-poverty and social-justice organization of embezzling charitable donations “for the production and dissemination of political propaganda, and published false and misleading allegations likely to result in racial hatred of Jews and Israel,” according to a statement from Lawfare.

The complaint charges War on Want’s work has consisted of political campaigns with little or no relevance to global poverty.

“Of its annual income of approximately $2.4 million in the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2017, $677,008 was spent on ‘raising funds’ and $713,800 was spent on “campaigns and policy,” according to Lawfare. “The complaint argues that a substantial part of that spending may have been used for the misleading and anti-Semitic propaganda described at length in the complaint.”

The complaint implicates the agency as participating in “dog-whistle fundraising” through misleading donors with false narratives such as “Palestinian Territories” alongside perpetrating racism against Israel.

The Lawfare Project and UKLFI requested that the Charity Commission verify the proper management of War on Want and see that its conduct is restricted to its supposed charitable objectives.

“Our complaint alleges that NGOs like War on Want are a part of an infrastructure that advances the delegitimization of Israel and calls on the Charity Commission to hold them accountable,” said Brooke Goldstein, executive director of the Lawfare Project.

“We allege in this complaint that War on Want misuses charitable funds to serve clearly political goals that are not connected to the public good,” said Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UK Lawyers for Israel.

Although not mentioned in the complaint, War on Want has supported the BDS movement.

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