Good news! War on Want loses government funding

The government has ceased funding a British charity which sponsored events accused of promoting hatred and violence against Jews.

The Department for International Development (Dfid) said that it no longer supported War on Want, which helped pay for “Israeli Apartheid Week” in February this year.

The statement comes as The Daily Telegraph obtained undercover recordings of events where anti-Semitism, demands for the destruction of Israel or naked support for terror were expressed by academics and others at meetings in some of Britain’s most prestigious universities.

One speaker, Max Blumenthal, the son of a close adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton, praised a massacre by Hamas as sending an “incredible message” and said that taking up arms should be “normal” for Palestinians. He compared Israel to the terrorist group Isil, describing it as “the Jewish State of Israel and the Levant, Jsil”.

At another rally – sponsored by War on Want – a speaker said that British government policy was created by “Zionist and neo-con lobbies”.

A second speaker at the same event spoke of a “rumour” that Israelis were harvesting dead Palestinians’ organs.

War on Want seem to want to fight Israel as well... now at least they can not do it with UK government money!
War on Want seem to want to fight Israel as well… now at least they can not do it with UK government money!

The meeting, at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), was the London launch of Israeli Apartheid Week, held across UK university campuses to “raise awareness about Israel’s ongoing settler-colonial project” and demand boycotts of Israel. They were secretly recorded and passed to the Telegraph.

War on Want, whose logo appears on publicity materials for Israeli Apartheid Week and the meeting, has received £260,000 in funding from Dfid over the last two years.

The subsidy is doubly embarrassing because the Government has recently banned local authorities and other public bodies from implementing boycotts of Israel.

A Dfid spokesman said last night that it has ceased funding of War on Want, apart from a small project with a distinct branch of the charity in Northern Ireland.

Dfid sources said the UK “deplored incitement on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.

War on Want spent more than £1,000 to bring Sahar Francis, a Palestinian lawyer, to the UK for the London event.

Ms Francis, the head of the Addameer prisoners’ rights group, spoke of a “rumour” that Israelis were stealing organs from Palestinian victims of the violence.

“The eyes were looking in a very strange way and this is why the families suspected [Israel] are stealing their [organs],” she said.

“But we cannot confirm, because [in] most cases it was not ending up with [an] autopsy.”

War on Want also paid for the accommodation of another speaker, Steven Salaita, an academic who used the event to attack Israel’s “tenuous colonial existence” and defend violence, saying: “If we are going to reduce a project of ethnic cleansing, illegal settlement and military occupation to the minuscule chance that a soldier or a settler will be harmed by an act of resistance by the natives, then we forfeit all right to be taken seriously.”

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