UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

Charity Commission Warns Medical Aid for Palestinians

The Charity Commission has warned Medical Aid for Palestinians that it must take care to heed regulatory guidelines, following a complaint made by UK Lawyers for Israel and the Lawfare Project.

If further complaints are made against Medical Aid for Palestinians then the Charity Commission will re-open the case.

In June 2018 UK Lawyers for Israel and The Lawfare Project filed a  complaint to Charity Commission against Medical Aid for Palestinians. The complaint outlined ways in which some of MAP’s annual income of £5.4 million may have been spent for political propaganda rather than for its stated purpose of providing medical aid.

The complaint highlighted:

  • MAP’s links with and funding of NGOs linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a terrorist organisation by the UK, US, EU, Canada, Israel and others

  • Inaccurate and misleading content on MAP’s website, including material promoting racist hatred and false claims regarding the medical situation in the Palestinian Territories

  • The dissemination of antisemitic propaganda, including videos by former KKK leader David Duke by MAP’s founder and patron, Dr Swee Ang

  • MAP’s promotion of the antisemitic play, “Seven Jewish Children.”

The Charity Commission concluded its assessment of the complaint in November 2018, although it failed to inform UKLFI and The Lawfare Project at the time.  The Charity Commission subsequently wrote to UKLFI and The Lawfare Project with a summary of its assessment of the complaint.

Morag Edwards, of the Charity Commission said:  “Whilst the Charity Commission stated that no further regulatory action or engagement was / is required at this time, we were clear that should any further complaints or information be received in this matter then it may be necessary for us to re-engage with the Charity.”

 Ms Edwards continued: “In confirming the closure of the Commission’s case, we signposted the Trustees to regulatory advice and guidance, specifically in relation to issues raised as part of our assessment of the complaint.”

 Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UKLFI commented:  “We would urge people to contact the Charity Commission if they see further evidence of political propaganda by MAP or links to terrorist organisations.”