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Rights Group Warns Oxfam over Terror Ties

Israeli rights group warns Oxfam that some of its ‘Palestinian partners’ have ties to terror.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/23/2014, 3:45 PM

Money for terror (illustrative)
Money for terror (illustrative)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Israeli legal rights group Shurat Hadin has issued a warning to the British-based charity Oxfam over its ties to Palestinian Arab organizations linked to terrorist groups.

Shurat Hadin, which has focused on fighting terrorism by going after terrorists in court, warned Oxfam that if it does not cut ties with terrorist-linked groups, it could bear criminal liability in future PFLP terrorist attacks.

“It has been brought to our attention that Oxfam International, Oxfam Novib, and other Oxfam affiliates provide financial aid and additional forms of material support to the Union of Health Workers Committees (UHWC) and the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (“UAWC”), instrumentalities of the terrorist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (“PFLP”) in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority,” Shurat Hadin’s Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner wrote.

“Oxfam readily acknowledges it works very closely with these two Palestinian groups and provides them financial support. Your organization has described them as your ‘partners’… Indeed, last month you signed a new agreement with the UHWC to provide it with further financial support,” she continued.

The PFLP “is a notorious terrorist organization” and has been listed as a terrorist entity by the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, she warned. The group’s terrorist activity continues to this day, she noted; recent attacks include the rocket attack on late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s funeral in January 2014.

While Oxfam’s website states that the group supports a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the PFLP has demonstrated against Israel-PA negotatiations.

Even ostensibly benign, non-military aid can help terrorist groups target civilians, Darshan-Leitner noted. She quoted the United States Supreme Court, which ruled, “Moreover, material support meant to promote peaceable, lawful conduct can be diverted to advance terrorism in multiple ways. The record shows that designated foreign terrorist organizations do not maintain organizational firewalls between funds raised for humanitarian activities and those used to carry out terrorist attacks.”

Darshan-Leitner ended with a warning. If Oxfam does not cut its ties to the two PFLP-linked groups mentioned, she wrote, Shurat Hadin “will seek all available relief and remedies against Oxfam and its officers in all relevant jurisdictions.”

Many U.S. entities that provided support to terrorists now find themselves in court, being held responsible for damages to the tune of many millions of dollars, she noted.

The latest rebuke of Oxfam follows allegations that the organization’s recent criticism of Israeli company SodaStream may have been motivated by money, and not politics alone.

Oxfam publicly criticized one of its famous spokespeople, actress Scarlett Johansson, after she agreed to take part in an ad campaign for SodaStream, which has a factory east of the 1949 armistice line. Oxfam views all Israeli presence over the armistice line as an “obstacle to peace,” and has previously caused controversy by ignoring Israeli law in the region in question.