UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

Give As You Live and Everyclick drop INTERPAL

The UK Charity Interpal, which is designated by the US as a terrorist entity[1], has suffered a further blow to its fundraising.

The latest funding platforms to de-list Interpal are Give as you Live and Everyclick.  JustGiving and BT MyDonate have already dropped Interpal. The credit card companies, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express,  removed their donation facilities from Interpal’s website in October 2018.

Interpal was dropped by Give as you Live and Everyclick as a result of efforts by UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), an organisation of lawyers who support Israel using their legal skills.  UKLFI pointed out that if the organisations continued to provide financial services to Interpal, they were likely to be in breach of the US and other anti-terror legislation.

Give as you Live Ltd (previously Everyclick Ltd) is a fundraising and crowdfunding platform based in  Evesham, Worcestershire.  According to their website, Everyclick products have raised £10,281,608.44 as at 25.2.19.

The system provides charities with the opportunity to raise money when supporters search the web through the Everyclick portal or to shop online with organisations such as booking.com, Expedia, Amazon, ebay and hotels.com, or if they book holidays or change power suppliers through the portal.  Interpal was one of the many thousands of charities to register and raise money through Everyclick.

Earlier this month Just Giving, a crowdfunding platform that operates in countries including the UK, Australia and the USA,  removed Interpal from its platform.  Just Giving has a US subsidiary, JG US, Inc., and also an Australian subsidiary, so would be affected by Australian and US sanctions, even though Interpal is allowed to operate legally in the UK.

British Telecom’s MyDonate (another fundraising platform),   removed Interpal in August 2018.  BT runs a not-for-profit online fundraising service for UK Charities called “MyDonate”, as part of its community service.  Interpal had a major presence on MyDonate, promoting several fundraising campaigns and had been particularly reliant on MyDonate for fundraising since its direct credit card donation facilities had been stopped in October 2018.   BT will be discontinuing its entire MyDonate operation in June 2019.

Background on Interpal

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

However,  Interpal is designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the US[2] and is also listed as a Terrorism Financing Entity in Canada[3] and included on Australia’s consolidated list[4] for its affiliation to terrorism. It is not designated in the UK as a terror organisation, and indeed continues to run as a charity, whose 2017 income was £5.9 million.

Interpal was described as follows by the US Department of the Treasury:

 “Interpal, headquartered in the UK, has been a principal charity utilized to hide the flow of money to HAMAS.   Reporting indicates it is the conduit through which money flows to HAMAS from other charities, e.g., the Al Aqsa Foundation (designated under EO 13224 on May 29th) and oversees the activities of other charities.   For example, the Sanabil Association for Relief and Development (designated as part of this tranche), represents Interpal in Lebanon.   Reporting indicates that Interpal is the fundraising coordinator of HAMAS.   This role is of the type that includes supervising activities of charities, developing new charities in targeted areas, instructing how funds should be transferred from one charity to another, and even determining public relations policy.”

Caroline Turner, director of UK Lawyers for Israel commented: “We are pleased that Give as you Live acted swiftly and removed Interpal from its list of charities.  If they had failed to do so, their international clients, such as Amazon,  Ebay and Expedia would be in danger of breaching the US anti-terror regulations.”

Interpal is also one of the UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s favoured charitiesInterpal paid [5] for a trip valued at over £2,800 for Corbyn to visit Gaza in 2013.

[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://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/English/Donations/V0087106