Pro-Israel lawyers persuade PayPal to ban a UK charity that misused its funds to promote terrorism and anti-Semitism.
PayPal has stopped providing services to the United Kingdom-based charity War on Want, which has proven links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization.
PayPal’s actions were prompted by a complaint filed by UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) notifying PayPal that War on Want appears to have close links to a terrorist organization.
These links were recently exposed by UKLFI and The Lawfare Project in a complaint jointly submitted to the Charity Commission for England and Wales calling on it to take steps to ensure the proper administration of the charity and that its conduct is limited to activities for the public benefit within its charitable objectives.
The PFLP was designated as a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom, United States, European Union, Canada, Israel, and other countries.
Beyond War on Want’s links to the PFLP, the complaint to the Charity Commission also asserts that the organization promotes dishonest and frequently anti-Semitic narratives on Israel and misuses charitable funds to spread political propaganda.
War on Want’s work involves political campaigns with little or no connection to global poverty, according to the complaint. 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 on “campaigns and policy.” The Lawfare Project and UKLFI say that a substantial part of that spending may have been used for the “misleading and anti-Semitic propaganda” described at length in the complaint.
PayPal has also recently stopped providing services to International Alliance, a German charity similarly alleged to be linked to the PFLP.
In an article last week, Lawfare Project Executive Director Brooke Goldstein and UKLFI Chief Executive Jonathan Turner called upon the Charity Commission to “at long last hold to account charities that claim to be providing aid, while aiding and abetting terrorist affiliated groups and anti-Semitic narratives.”
The two pro-Israel organizations in June filed a similar complaint against the Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) organization, which has a record of promoting anti-Semitism and is likewise connected to PFLP.
Palestinians Misuse Aid for Terror
Palestinian terror organizations have a long history of misusing aid to promote terrorism and anti-Semitism, and there is ample evidence of Palestinian terror operatives infiltrating aid groups and diverting funds and other resources for terror purposes.
In 2016, Mohammed El-Halabi, World Vision’s manager of operations in Gaza, was arrested for funneling approximately $50 million – 60 percent of WV’s funds, to Hamas– in order to construct terror tunnels and military installations along with other terrorist activities.
Shortly afterward, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) arrested a “humanitarian aid worker” from the Gaza Strip for exploiting his position at a United Nations agency to provide assistance to Hamas. Similarly, in an April 2018 US court settlement, the NGO Norwegian People’s Aid admitted to working with Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations in Gaza.
Most recently, Yasser Murtaja, a purported journalist killed in April on the border with Israel, was revealed to be a Hamas intelligence officer who was set to become a Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) contractor.
The NRC, which describes itself as “an independent humanitarian organization helping people forced to flee,” stated that Murtaja “had agreed to document for NRC the bitter prolonged struggle faced by Palestinian refugees in Gaza. The work was planned to start the day after he was killed.”