Foundation defends cancelling grants to organisations ‘glorifying’ Hamas attack

01 Mar 2024 News

By chase4concept / Adobe

A UK-based foundation has defended its decision to cancel grants to two organisations that it says publicly displayed support for Hamas’s attack on Israel on 7 October last year. 

The Sigrid Rausing Trust (SRT) said the comments were in breach of its contract, as all of its grantees agree to avoid “glorifying or promoting violence” or “using language that is inflammatory or discriminatory”. 

SRT’s grantee code of conduct does not mention these conditions specifically but says it expects recipients “to adhere to standards which are consistent with our ethical values”.

In a statement this week, SRT said one of the affected organisations had described the start of the Israel-Palestine conflict as a “quality operation”.

Another had expressed “pride” in the “heroic Al Aqsa Flood battle initiated by the Palestinian resistance factions against the usurping Zionist enemy” and “appreciation to the fighting resistance factions”, SRT said. 

The foundation also rescinded its invitations to three organisations to apply for further grants for similar reasons. 

One of these organisations was FRIDA, a Canadian young feminist group that wrote on 18 October: “We affirm the right of all oppressed peoples to self-determine their resistance.”

In a statement on its website, SRT said: “To morally condone atrocities against civilians is not compatible with the human rights and feminist values which inform our grant-making, and the group would not have received further funding from us.”

The funder did not respond to comment on who the other organisations were. 

Some grantees found ‘celebrating’ Hamas attack last year

Following the 7 October attack last year, SRT reviewed the social media and website commnunications of all of its grantees. 

In December, it made a statement saying that a small number of its grantees had issued statements “legitimising or even celebrating Hamas’ violent attacks against civilians” and used “de-legitimising and/or inaccurate language about Israel”. 

It subsequently cancelled grants to some organisations and withdrew invitations to apply for further funding from others. 

SRT clarified that none of the affected organisations were based in Israel or Palestine. 

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