UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

Credit Card facilities removed from Interpal

The charity Interpal can no longer receive donations by credit card.  This severely curtails the organisation’s ability to fundraise directly through its website.

Interpal, whose full name is Palestinians Relief And Development Fund, is an English charity regulated by the Charity Commission, which describes itself as “a specialist, non-political charity working to support the most vulnerable and support Palestinian communities.”

However, Interpal has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the US Department of the Treasury since 2003, when it described Interpal as “a principal charity utilized to hide the flow of money to Hamas” and said: “Reporting indicates it is the conduit through which money flows to Hamas from other charities”.[1]

UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) wrote to the credit card companies pointing out that Interpal is designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the US[2] , as well as in Canada[3] and Australia[4].  Interpal’s credit card donations section has now been pulled down from its website. This follows BT’s MyDonate pulling out from offering Interpal a fundraising service in August.[5]

The US has designated Interpal as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist which means that any of its assets in the US must be frozen and transactions with all US entities and their subsidiaries are prohibited.  Breach of the sanctions would risk severe civil and criminal penalties. Interpal is not designated as a terror organisation in the UK and the Charity Commission allows Interpal to operate in the UK legally.

The credit card donation page was at https://don8now.co.uk//donate/donate.aspx

When this link is pressed now, one is re-routed to this page: https://www.interpal.org/other-ways-to-donate/

Caroline Turner, director of UKLFI commented: “The US law is wide ranging in its effects.  Credit card companies are global organisations and bound not only by the US anti-terror legislation, but also by ethical guidelines which apply to all multi-national enterprises.  If a charity has been designated as a terror organisation in the US this has a far reaching effect worldwide.  We are highlighting these laws and doing what we can to prevent funding to terrorist or terror linked organisations.

[1] https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js672.aspx

[2] https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/js672.aspx

[3] http://www.osfi-bsif.gc.ca/Eng/fi-if/amlc-clrpc/atf-fat/Pages/default.aspx?pedisable=true

[4] http://dfat.gov.au/international-relations/security/sanctions/Pages/consolidated-list.aspx#list

[5] http://www.uklfi.com/interpal-suffers-donations-blow-as-credit-cards-and-mydonate-withdraw-facilities

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