Jewish Chronicle forced to pay £50k after falsely linking Palestinian charity with terrorism

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Fréa Lockley

The Jewish Chronicle falsely linked Palestinian charity Interpal with terrorist activity. As a result, the newspaper had to apologise and pay the charity £50,000 in damages.

“Humanitarian and development aid”

Interpal provides “humanitarian and development aid to Palestinians in need”. The charity also exists:

to empower Palestinians to face their challenges and hardships in our principal areas of operation: the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon.

As Third Sector reported, the Jewish Chronicle “referred to the charity” in 2003:

as being listed by the US as a “specially designated global terrorist organisation”

Interpal challenged this repeatedly, and in its apology the Jewish Chronicle said the charity:

continues to operate fully lawfully under the aegis of the Charity Commission…

We accept that neither Interpal, nor its trustees, have ever been involved with or provided support for terrorist activity of any kind.

We apologise unreservedly to the trustees for any distress caused and have agreed to pay them damages for libel.

“Unfounded allegations”

Interpal chair Ibrahim Hewitt said this payment and apology represents a “welcome resolution” to the case.

Mike Cushman from Jewish Voice for Labour told The Canary this is “good news”:

because Zionist campaigners, like Jewish Chronicle, have been free and easy with unfounded allegations. These allegations wreck people’s lives and we are very pleased they are being held to account on this occasion.

In June, Interpal also:

received an apology and £120,000 in damages, plus legal costs, from the Daily Mail… after the newspaper published two stories in August 2018 claiming the charity supported a “hate festival” in Gaza in which children acted out the murder of Jewish people.

The second Daily Mail article alleged that the US listed Interpal as a “specially designated global terrorist organisation”. This created the impression of terrorism links with both the charity and its trustees.

“Harrassed”

Interpal works to build:

A world in which Palestinians are able to achieve their basic human rights and live dignified lives, unencumbered by poverty.

As Cushman told The Canary:

Interpal has been endlessly investigated. It has been cleared of any links to terrorism. They do good work supporting Palestinians in distress. It’s shocking that a charity should be harassed in this way.

He continued:

Groups like Lawyers for Israel spend a lot of energy disrupting legitimate charities. It’s important that cases like this make people aware of their sustained campaign.

Featured image via Jewish Chronicle

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