See press release from War on Want at the end of the story.
The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has announced that it withholds its support for War on Want, one of the sponsors of last February’s Israeli Apartheid Week, The Telegraph reported.
Back in February, War on Want announced that it was “proud to be co-sponsoring some great events for Israeli Apartheid Week 2016.” Earlier, the group stated: “War on Want supports the call from Palestinian civil society to build a global movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law. Join us in making this a year of struggle for justice, freedom, and equality.”
Except that The Telegraph was able to present undercover recordings of WoW-sponsored events steeped in anti-Semitism, calls for the destruction of Israel, and open support for terrorism.
For instance, at a meeting at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), which launched the London Israeli Apartheid Week, Max Blumenthal (son of the former aide to President Bill Clinton and long-time confidant of Hillary Clinton Sidney Blumenthal) compared Israel to ISIL, saying it was “the Jewish State of Israel and the Levant, JSIL.”
Max Blumenthal praised a 2014 attack carried out by Hamas against Kibbutz Nahal Oz and an army base near the Gaza border, saying the Arabs had a chance to “recover their dignity” and “pop Israel’s security bubble.” Thrilled at the prospect of Arabs finally getting to kill Jews, Blumenthal said, “With GoPro cameras attached to their helmets, [they] burst into the Israeli base and kill every soldier they encounter in hand-to-hand combat.”
Here is the Jerusalem Post July 28, 2014 account of the event, which is what actually happened: “Terrorists attempted to enter Israel via a cross-border tunnel from Gaza, surfacing in the Nahal Oz area on Monday evening. IDF soldiers detected a terrorist cell and opened fire on it, killing one Gazan attacker.”
Naturally, the Hamas version claimed that their “fighters” killed 10 Israeli soldiers in the incident before returning home safely. Alas, the GoPro video released to support the claim shows no such killings. But Max Blumenthal could not contain himself, declaring, “The message it sent to young Palestinians in the West Bank, in Jerusalem and abroad, was incredible … You see your people in commando uniforms, bursting into a military base and showing up the occupier.”
Except that Nahal Oz is in green line Israel, as of the armistice agreement signed with Egypt in 1949. Does Max Blumenthal believe all of Israel is an occupied territory? The speaker who followed him certainly does.
Arab lawyer Sahar Francis, another speaker at the same event, accused Israel of harvesting dead Palestinians’ organs, because their “eyes were looking in a very strange way and this is why the families suspected [Israelis] are stealing their [organs].” According to The Telegraph, WoW spent close to $1,500 to fly Francis to the UK for the London event.
The SOAS event chairperson Rafeef Ziadah said that Israeli Apartheid Week does not support the OSLO accords which sees an Israeli legitimate claim to part of the land, and is instead “framing Israel for what it is, a settler-colonial state.” She described Israel as “’48 Palestine” and said that the campaign “very importantly spoke about the entirety of the Palestinian people, not just segments of the Palestinian people.”
So, for the record, the purpose of War on Want is not to correct the Israeli treatment of Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, but to eliminate Israel. Which the British government should not pay for, seeing as they still believe Israel deserves to exist in some diminished geographic form. Over the last two years, according to The Telegraph, War on Want has received $370,000 in funding from DFID, this while the UK Government has banned official support for boycotts of Israel. Now that spigot was turned off.
War on Want on Sunday issued the following statement:
“War on Want has dismissed the story in today’s Sunday Telegraph suggesting that it has had its funding ‘pulled’ by the UK government and that the charity has been criticized by the government over its support for human rights in Palestine.
“John Hilary, Executive Director at War on Want, said: ‘The story in today’s Telegraph is a complete fabrication. War on Want has not sought any UK government support for its operations for a number of years now, so it is absurd to suggest that we have had our funding ‘pulled’. The insinuation that we have been criticized by the government for standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people is equally bogus. We will be contacting the Telegraph to help it set the record straight.'”