Guardian provides free PR to Interpal, a “charity” widely known as terrorist front group

The Guardian’s Global Development page, Nov. 17, contained a new post with this header:

The subheading reads:

The British charity Interpal is working to regenerate and rebuild Gaza after the Israeli attacks in 2008 and 2009. The charity has worked with other international NGOs to open up a humanitarian corridor from Egypt that has allowed six convoys to cross the border. Supplies brought in include medicine and medical resources. The organisation also provides funds to buy medical and computer equipment, generators, fuel and seeds.

The photo post includes  pictures such as these:

The caption notes:

Interpal is helping with the rehabilitation of the farm, which is owned by the Palestinian Society of Development Training and Family Rehabilitation. The charity also buys meat, poultry and vegetables from the farm, which it distributes to families struggling to make ends meet.

And, there’s this:

The caption:

Part of the destroyed laboratory buildings of the Islamic University in Gaza. Two university buildings, which contained the science and engineering labs, were destroyed during the Israeli attacks. Interpal has implemented a $500,000 programme to re-equip the labs.

So, the poetic truth of the story is simple enough: A humanitarian NGO assisting Gazans in need after the brutal Israeli assaults during Operation Cast Lead. 

However, for some reason, the Guardian failed to inform their readers of a tiny little detail about the British “charity”, Interpal.

In 2003, the U.S. Treasury published a list of charities it alleged to have links to terrorism.  This list included Interpal, which was defined as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist” that aids Hamas. Specifically, Interpal was included in US Executive Order 13224, which froze the assets of five charitable societies that sponsored Hamas, following evidence which implicated the group in financing the Aug. 19, 2003 bombing of the No.2 Egged bus in Jerusalem, which killed 23 and wounded 130.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya pictured with Essam Yousef, vice-chairman of Interpal, to his left

It has also been reported that senior officials in Interpal, an organization associated with the umbrella group, Union of the Good, continues to transfer funds to the Hamas regime, and has been heavily involved in the coordination of recent “aid” ships to Gaza.

The Union of Good was proscribed by Israel in 2002 and designated as a terrorist organisation by the US in 2008 because it provides financial and material support for Hamas.  The group is headed by Yusuf al Qaradawi, who supports suicide bombings and has explicitly praised Hitler’s genocide against the Jews.

Further, a BBC Panorama report titled Faith, Hate and Charity”, (aired in July 2006), exposed Interpal as a political instrument that assists Hamas’ civilian infrastructureThe program showed that Interpal funds were transferred to Hamas-managed “charitable societies” in the PA-administered territories, used for inculcating Hamas’ radical Islamist ideology in the younger generation of Palestinians and nurturing the ethos of jihad and the cult of martyrdom.

Ibrahim Brian Hewitta British citizen who converted to Islam, is the chairman of Interpal and also the senior editor of the Middle East Monitor (MEMO). The director of MEMO is Dr. Daud Abdullah, a senior figure in the London-based Palestinian Return Center (PRC)an anti-Israeli propaganda group affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Abdullah is a contributor at ‘Comment is Free’.

The report, cited above, by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, concluded that In addition to providing assistance to the Hamas administration, activists belonging to Interpal hold meetings with Hamas’s Ismail Haniya (and other Hamas activists) aimed to support the political and propaganda efforts exerted by Hamas and its institutions in Gaza to obtain legitimacy in Western countries and thus whitewash its terrorist image.

As such, the Guardian’s Interpal “Global Development” photo shoot served to legitimize the proscribed organization, and whitewash their terrorist image, beyond Interpal leaders’ wildest dreams.

20 replies »

  1. “Interpal was included in US Executive Order 13224, which froze the assets of five charitable societies that sponsored Hamas, following evidence which implicated the group in financing the Aug. 19, 2003 bombing of the No.2 Egged bus in Jerusalem, which killed 23 and wounded 130.”

    Interpal is a non-political British charity that has been providing aid to Palestinians for some 17 years. On several occasions it has been accused of inappropriate links to Hamas terrorist activities. Each time the Charity Commission has found the allegations to be substantially unfounded:

    1) In 1996 The Sunday Telegraph made such allegations. After The Charity Commission found them to be untrue the Telegraph published an apology.
    2) In 2003, following the US Treasury’s including Interpal on their proscribed list,The Charity Commission investigated again and again found no fault. Interpal sued The Board of Deputies of British Jews for repeating the libel and settled for a public apology.
    3) In 2006 The BBC Panorama programme alleged that Interpal donated funds to voluntary organisations in Occupied Palestine that supported the ideology of Palestine’s ruling party Hamas. After protracted inquiries, in the course of which the US Treasury failed to give evidence, the Charity Commission, in 2009, dismissed allegations by Panorama that Interpal was funding organisations involved in terrorism but criticised the Charity’s monitoring procedures and ordered it to cease its links with one organisation, ‘The Union of Good’. Interpal made appropriate remedies and is now in good standing with the Charity Commission.

  2. For a well researched book, with sources.
    I recommend, “HAMAS, Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad” by Matthew Levitt.
    Pages 157-160 deal with Interpal and its incontrovertible role in funding terrorism.

    • This is not helpful, Gerald. I don’t have the book, nor do you provide a link to the text. You don’t even summarise the book’s argument. Have you anything to say that disputes the detailed case made in my original post? I think not.

      • sencar it may not be helpful to you.
        If you haven’t got a copy of the book go and get one, either from a bookshop or your local library.
        Where is your “detailed case”?
        A few sentences are not a detailed case.

        “I think not.” That is the most honest statement you have written here, clearly you do not think, you just repeat what others have written on the internet and misguidedly believe that constitutes a “detailed case”

  3. Chickens!!!! In cages!!!!

    There’s never a Harriet Sherwood around when you need her!

    Thanks for the reference, Gerald. I’ll bet sencar hasn’t read it.

    • I thought of her when I saw the poor chickens.

      I tried to access a Telegraph article called something like Charity watchdog loses its bite from December 2010 but the site looked as if it might not load before Christmas.

    • Sorry, Gerald, I don’t understand what you’re getting at. I’m not familiar with typical charity returns to the Commission but I’d guess that 10 months delay wouldn’t be unusual. The essential point is that Interpal has been subjected to closer inspection than the vast majority of British charities and has emerged clean of significant criticism.
      Please comment on that specific issue.

      • sencar once again in an attempt to cover up your ignorance of the subject you try to dodge the question you’re asked.
        If you are not familiar with typical charity returns or the guidelines issued by the Commission to charities, look them up!
        You’ll be pleased to find out you can do it without leaving your keyboard as they are available online.

        Now try one more time. Do you consider sending in your returns and report 10 months late evidence of being, in your phrase, ‘in good standing’?
        It is a simple question sencar and I’ll give you a clue the answer is either, Yes or No.

        • Well you live and learn, Gerald. I’ve just learnt from the Charity Commission’s annual report that the legal limit for charities’ submitting their annual returns is (guess what) ten months. I imagine Interpal isn’t alone in leaving things to the last minute – like many of us doing income tax returns.
          You can see the report here:

          The relevant table, indicating that 86% comply with the 10 month limit, is on p19.
          My simple answer to your question is “Yes”.

          • sencar my question was not the one you answered.
            But never mind, clearly minor details such as truth, facts and history have little relevance to you. Clearly to you if a fact doesn’t fit ignore it or use ‘Google’ to try and find one that does.
            I wonder why you rush to the defence of ‘The Guardian’ and those who seek to de-legitimise Israel? Don’t bother answering the question it is a rhetorical one.

  4. For those that might have missed Paul Goodman’s lengthy post at conservative home:

    Pickles and Warsi wrestle for control of Government strategy on anti-Muslim hatred

    Quote:The charity Interpal was directed by the Charity Commission in 2009 “to end the charity’s relationship with the Union for Good and ensure that no trustee holds office or has a role within the Union for Good”.endquote

    The rumour is that some keen Tory MPs run round Pickles three times a day to keep fit …

    and that Guardian editors run round facts to stay morally bankrupt.

    • “The charity Interpal was directed by the Charity Commission in 2009 “to end the charity’s relationship with the Union for Good”.

      I made this point in my first post yesterday. However, as I also wrote, the Commission “dismissed allegations….that Interpal was funding organisations involved in terrorism” – which was the gist of Adam’s original accusation.

      • sencar have you read the Charity Commission report into Interpal?
        If you had you would not repeat this silly statement, “dismissed allegations….that Interpal was funding organisations involved in terrorism” That statement is not true, try reading the full report instead of ‘Googling’ for bits and pieces that support your preconceived view.

        They decided that there was not sufficient proof to use their regulatory powers. The report is full of instances where Interpal and its four partners were involved in dubious activities and the funding of banned organisations.
        Much the same decision as you get in a Scottish Court, Not Proven that does not mean innocent although it might to ‘Guardian Groupies’ who want to whitewash terrorist funding organisations in this country.

        • No I haven’t read the report, though I’ve asked thr CC for a copy because I couldn’t find one online. If you have one please post a reference and I’ll comment. You’re very good at making assertions without providing any detail that can be challenged. Your ‘not proven’ verdict is typical; I’d bet money that the CC doesn’t put it like that.

  5. sencar you are projecting and you know as well as we do that you are not a rigorous or dispassionate researcher, so please don’t insult us by pretending that you are.

    Please post the relevant parts of the CC report (if you have indeed ordered it and you get it) so as to prove your points.

    But I doubt that you will or that you can.

  6. Yes, sencar, Interpal is pure as the driven slush isn’t it?

    The following is courtesy of habibi at Harry’s Place:

    From the Charity Commission’s report, which blamed the trustees of Interpal because they

    * had not taken sufficiently rigorous steps to investigate allegations about some of their partner organisations (Paragraphs 49-68),

    * had not put in place adequate due diligence and monitoring procedures to be satisfied that these organisations were not promoting terrorist ideologies or activities. Where procedures were in place, they were not sufficient nor fully implemented (Paragraphs 115-147).

    * had not adequately managed the charity’s relationship with the organisation the Union for Good. The Inquiry concluded that the charity’s continued membership of the Union for Good was not appropriate for a number of reasons set out in the report, including the involvement of designated entities in projects co-ordinated through the Union for Good, that designated entities had been amongst the Union for Good’s membership, and that one of the charity’s trustees was closely linked to the organisation (Paragraphs 69-114).

    the Commission found that:

    “…the procedures put forward by the Charity in 2003 as methods of obtaining independent verification of the work done by its zakat committee partners were not fully implemented and did not achieve this aim.

    “The Charity did not implement its plan to send questionnaires to all its partners to seek clarification on their procedures for selecting beneficiaries until this Inquiry commenced.

    “The delegations were not an effective monitoring method. Those sent as part of the Bearing Witness programme served a different, albeit beneficial purpose, while the details supplied regarding the internal delegations did not demonstrate that they provided adequate detailed monitoring of the Charity’s partners and projects.

    “The Charity was working with other NGOs to verify the distribution of its funds, but close links between the Charity and the Union for Good meant this could not be considered independent verification of the work done by the Charity’s partners.”

    You may also want to visit this

  7. I now have the CC report. Hairshirt’s extracts are a fair summary of its criticisms of Interpal. However the shortcomings found are all procedural. They are the failings of well-intentioned amateurs, not those of malicious supporters of terrorism. The CC in effect tells them to tighten up their act.

    On the key accusation that Interpal funded bodies which promoted terrorism the CC found that “the material was of insufficient evidential value to support these allegations”.

    Again on the accusation that one of Interpal’s trustees, Dr Mustafa, had links to terrorist organisations the CC found: “Concerns about Dr Mustafa’s suitability to act in the capacity of trustee of the Charity were not substantiated as the evidence before the Inquiry did not indicate links between Dr Mustafa and terrorist activities”.

    The CC could have closed Interpal down if it had concluded that the charity or its trustees were supporting terrorism. Instead they called for more rigorous bureaucratic procedures – a significant criticism but scarcely a damning indictment.

  8. Apart from anything else, one wonders why a community that can build luxurious, world-class malls, hotels, swimming pools, etc. cannot, along, build a few chicken coops.

    Missing in action – as noted by Yohoho, Harriet “Chickenlady” Sherwood’s non-reporting of this gross cruelty to chickens, something she never missed when she heard about chickens in cages in Israel –