UK Lawyers for Israel, together with the Lawfare Project, have filed a complaint to the Charity Commission against Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). The complaint highlights how MAP has spread political propaganda, promoted antisemitism, and how it has connections with organisations linked to the Palestinian terrorist organisation, the PFLP. The complaint shows how 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 highlights:
- 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, 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
- MAP’s promotion of the antisemitic play, “Seven Jewish Children.”
Jonathan Turner, Chief Executive of UKLFI commented: “MAP is abusing its position as a charity to spread lies and disinformation about Israel. It partners with NGOs who are closely linked with a terrorist organisation whose aim is the destruction of Israel, and it promotes their hateful views. Readers of MAP’s misleading website would no doubt be surprised to hear that life expectancy in Gaza compares favourably with Glasgow.”
MAP’S TERRORIST LINKS
MAP has links with and funds NGOs that are linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). PFLP is designated as a terrorist organization by the UK as well as the USA, EU, Canada, Australia, Israel and other countries. PFLP is involved in suicide bombings, hijackings, and assassinations, amongst other terrorist activities targeting civilians. These links do not further MAP’s charitable objects, are contrary to the public benefit, and are liable to undermine public trust and confidence in MAP and charities generally.
NGOs supported by MAP connected to the PFLP include:
- Addameer (an official PFLP affiliate whose vice-chair is described on the PFLP website as its leader, and who was indicted in 2015 for calling for the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers.)
- The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), which frequently calls attacks on Israeli civilians “legal forms of resistance”
- Al Haq, whose General Director has convictions for recruiting for the PFLP and arranging PFLP training and is prohibited from travelling abroad due to his involvement in terrorism
SPREADING ANTISEMITIC PROPAGANDA INCLUDING BY DAVID DUKE
MAP’s founder and honorary patron, Dr Swee Ang, has distributed and encouraged others to distribute an openly antisemitic video by David Duke, a white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard. In 2014 Dr Swee Ang, circulated a link to Duke’s video entitled “CNN, Goldman Sachs and the Zio Matrix”.
The video labels the Federal Reserve Bank as “the Zio Club FED,” calls NBC News anchor Brian Williams a “good Shabbez goy Zioscript reader,” identifies U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan as a “Zio tribalist,” and states, “Zios invaded and took over Walt Disney Corp. just as they invaded and took over Palestine.”
In February 2017, when asked about the antisemitic video at the University College of London Union, Dr Ang responded that she doesn’t “think it’s entirely anti-Jewish.”
Dr Ang has never faced any sanction for disseminating extreme neo-Nazi antisemitism and remains an “honorary patron” of MAP. This brings the charity into disrepute.
MAP’s website contains several false claims in which misleading propaganda is presented as fact. These include:
- The claim that Israeli occupation is a major obstacle to Palestinian healthcare when in fact, Palestinian health and healthcare have improved enormously in the last 50 years
- The claim that Israel restricts the training and provision of medical equipment to Palestinian medical professionals when in fact, Israel facilitates their training and does not restrict the supply of medicines to either the West Bank or Gaza
- Claims regarding violence carried out by Israeli citizens in the West Bank against Palestinians while ignoring more frequent and deadly attacks carried out against Israeli citizens by Palestinians
- Claims blaming Israel for breast cancer among Palestinian women in a manner in keeping with medieval blood libel
- Claiming that Palestinian combatants who died while carrying out acts of violence were in fact civilians. For instance MAP claimed that an ambulance hit by an Israeli drone strike in August 2014 contained an “ambulance crew” when in fact all those in the ambulance were members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organisation.
PROMOTING AN ANTISEMITIC PLAY
MAP’s website has promoted Caryl Churchill’s antisemitic play “Seven Jewish Children – A Play for Gaza”, inviting its supporters to stage a production and then ask for donations.
The antisemitic and inflammatory nature of the play has been described by numerous reviewers. Howard Jacobson, the Booker Prize winning novelist, called it “wantonly inflammatory piece” where “the Jews drop in on somewhere they have no right to be, despise, conquer, and at last revel in the spilling of Palestinian blood.”
The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg called it, “The mainstreaming of the worst anti-Jewish stereotypes — for instance, that Jews glory in the shedding of non-Jewish blood.”
The Community Security Trust (CST) have also explained how the play brought the blood libel against the Jews up-to-date and culminated in powerful antisemitic resonances.
MAP’S CONNECTIONS TO MPs AND PEERS
Despite its record of promoting antisemitism and its links to a banned terrorist group, MAP enjoys some parliamentary support. Its patrons include Labour peer, Baroness Helena Kennedy and former Liberal Democrat leader Lord David Steel. Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry visited Ramallah with MAP in November 2017. MAP regularly holds events at party conferences.
WHY THIS COMPLAINT MATTERS
- undermines public trust and confidence in MAP and brings the charitable sector into disrepute;
- is contrary to the public benefit as it stokes hatred of Israel and Jews and encourages antisemitism;
- misuses charitable funds to promote terrorism and political propaganda;
- misleads donors and the public generally.
Recent crises around antisemitism, particularly within the Labour Party, have demonstrated how antisemitism is tolerated and allowed to fester among sections of pro-Palestinian activists in the UK. The fact that despite spreading antisemitic propaganda and having connections to a Palestinian terrorist organisation, MAP is still treated as a respectable charity by British politicians is therefore indicative of this broader problem.
A full copy of the complaint is available HERE