Can someone tell me what it is with the British and boycotts? Don’t they have anything else to do? Is it because they still feel crushed that there is no new episodes of Benny Hill on TV? Or is it just a result of England’s 1,000+ year history of Anti-Semitism.
The latest news is British Charity War on Want’s declaration of war on the Jewish state. It has unveiled plans to push a worldwide boycott of Israel.
MPs and Jewish leaders have condemned a high-profile British charity which has unveiled plans for a world-wide anti-Israel boycott.
A document, described as “a guide for boycott, divestment and sanctions”, appears on the War on Want website, and as a booklet, laying out a strategy for those planning sanctions against the Jewish state. MPs have called on the Charity Commission to investigate the publication, described as “a handbook of hate” by Jewish Leadership Council chief executive Jeremy Newmark.
The booklet suggests that the boycott movement needs to “gain greater popular support” in order “to grow into a truly global movement”.
Comparisons are drawn between sanctions against Israel and those imposed against apartheid-era South Africa. Investment in Israel should be presented to the public as “investment in a system of occupation, injustice and apartheid,” it says in the booklet, co-published with the Palestinian Stop the Wall organisation.
Lorna Fitzsimons, former Labour MP and chief executive of BICOM, the Britain-Israel Communications and Research Centre, said that “to equate the Palestinians’ situation with the absolute powerlessness of black South Africans under the apartheid regime is at best misguided, and at worst an insult and a tragedy”.
Liverpool Riverside Labour MP Louise Ellman said the publication was “very questionable” for a charity. Ilford North Conservative MP Lee Scott found it “disgraceful. I’m going to ask the Charity Commission to look into it”. (Source the JC.com)
The War on Want has reacted to the controversy by thumbing its nose at the parliament and Jewish organizations who have protested their one-sided agenda and position papers.
UK charity targets Israel
War On Want: Israel’s disregard for human rights is one of gravest injustices in century
A British charity has denied charges of anti-Semitism after coming under fire for producing a detailed guide to boycotting Israel.
War on Want, ostensibly a charity set up to fight worldwide poverty, recently published a guide on its website, entitled, “Towards a global movement for Palestine; a framework for today’s anti-apartheid activism.”
“Boycotts, divestment, and sanctions have gained currency in recent years as a series of strategies to pressure Israel in pursuit of justice for Palestinians,” the guide’s introduction said.
“Yet, it is clear that initiatives need to strengthen and gain greater popular support if they are to be an effective force in support of Palestinians,” it continued, before instructing readers to boycott Israeli goods, support a trade embargo against Israel, back the academic boycott against Israelis, and enforce a sports boycott.
The guide is peppered with anti-Israeli posters showing a map of the region alongside the caption: “Free Palestine, isolate Israel,” and “Israel is an apartheid state.”
The charity receives some 1.1 million pounds from the British government, though a UK government source told the Jewish Chronicle last week that the money was not intended for projects in the Middle East.
Responding to the boycott guide, Professor Gerald Steinberg, executive director of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, said: “In the past, War on Want has accused Israel of ‘caging’ Palestinians into ‘ghettos’; engaging in an ‘expulsion project’; and acting like a ‘heavyweight beating a child’. It has also adopted traditional anti-Semitic libels by repeating unsupported allegations that the IDF targets Palestinian water sources as a ‘punitive and discriminatory tool.'”
“In addition, War on Want distributed anti-Israel material at the University College Union conference prior to the academic boycott vote. They are very much at the forefront of the political war against Israel, all the while they have received funding from the EU, the UK Department for International Development, and Irish Aid,” Steinberg added.
But John Hilary, director of campaigns at War On Want, denied the charges. “We reject entirely any suggestion that War on Want’s campaign is anti-Semitic,” he told Ynetnews, adding that “War on Want has made this booklet available because we believe Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine deserves an international response in the same way as apartheid South Africa did.
“Israel’s continuing disregard for international humanitarian law and human rights stands as one of the gravest injustices of the 21st century,” Hilary said
This is not a new tactic for War on Want. NGO monitor has reported that WoW is a leader of the anti-Israel boycott and sanctions movement; the “Palestine campaign” erases the context of terror; with demonizing terms such as war crimes and collective punishment, Israel’s campaign of apartheid, apartheid wall., etc. Maybe its because they work with Palestinian partner NGOs such as the highly politicized Union of Palestine Medical Relief Committees
For More on the War on Want See:
- War on Want continues to use anti-Semitic imagery in its criticism of Israel, NGO Monitor Digest (Vol.5 No.5), January 22, 2007
- British Charity Commission Investigates War on Want NGO for ‘Political Campaigning’, NGO Monitor, January 15, 2007
- War on Want steps up political campaign against Israel, NGO Monitor Digest (Vol.4 No.11), July 17, 2006