Paypal stops services to War on Want after legal groups' complaint

23 Oct 2018 News

Paypal has stopped providing services to War on Want after legal groups accused the charity of having links to terrorist organisations and inciting racial hatred against Jews and Israel.

The UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), which describes itself as “a voluntary organisation of lawyers fighting against the delegitimisation of the State of Israel”, raised concerns with Paypal last month about War on Want’s “close links to a terrorist organisation”.

Paypal told UKLFI in response that it would "thoroughly review the mentioned website and possible linked parties and take further action as appropriate in this case".

Since the start of this month, people have not been able to donate to the charity using Paypal.

But War on Want described the legal groups' actions as "vexatious and politically motivated campaigns aimed at silencing human rights organisations".

Charity Commission complaint

Last month, the UKLFI and The Lawfare Project, which says it files litigation against antisemitic discrimination around the world, accused the charity of “misleading and antisemitic behaviour” in a complaint to the Charity Commission.

A Charity Commission spokesperson said its "assessment of these concerns is underway" but Brooke Goldstein, director of the Lawfare Project, called on the Commission to open an investigation into the charity.

“Now the Charity Commission needs to follow suit and engage with the detailed complaint we submitted against War on Want.”

Similarly, Caroline Turner, director of UK Lawyers for Israel, said: “I am pleased that Paypal has responded to the evidence it has now seen regarding War on Want’s association with groups linked to terrorism and has ceased to assist War on Want in obtaining donations.

“I hope that the Charity Commission will now look carefully at War on Want’s activities and associations.”

A War on Want spokesperson said: "It is regrettable that Paypal has taken this decision on the basis of unsubstantiated smears and without a proper process for War on Want to refute the allegations being made.

"War on Want is taking all necessary steps to ensure that its human rights work is not disrupted by this malicious campaign.

"Palestinian human rights organisations are a regular target of vexatious and politically motivated complaints to disrupt their work. UK-based civil society organisations are also increasingly becoming the focus of such attacks."

Paypal has been approached for comment.

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