|In their own words||An “independent consultancy focusing on the historical, political and legal aspects of the Palestinian Refugees.”|
Does not publish donors or financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability. According to its website, PRC “depends primarily on donations from people who believe in its cause” and “accepts contributions in money and kind from any source as long as there are no strings or conditions attached.”
- Claims to “offer expert advice to various actors and agencies on the question of Palestinian Refugees within the context of the Nakba – The catastrophe following the forced displacement of Palestinians in 1948 – and serves as an information repository on other related aspects of the Palestine question and the Arab-Israeli conflict. It specializes in the research, analysis, and monitor of issues pertaining to the dispersed Palestinians and their internationally recognized legal right to return.”
- Aims include: to “highlight the issue of the right of return both as a humanitarian and political concern”; “[e]stablish historical accounts of the plight of the refugees and offer realistic strategic solutions in addressing their plight”; “increase and widen awareness of the suffering of the Palestinians in the Diaspora”; “inform the general public in Europe and Britain in particular, the truth on the many different dimensions of the Palestinian issue”; and “establish the status of Palestinian refugees under international law without any equivocation, and campaign for their basic human and legal rights.”
- Activities focus on actualizing a Palestinian “right of return,” which, if implemented, would effectually mean the elimination of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people; describes the establishment of the state of Israel as a “Nakba,” or “catastrophe.”
- Regularly lobbies the British Parliament and other international forums, disseminating demonizing information and contributing to the international delegitimization of Israel.
- Accuses Israel of “war crimes,” “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” “massacres,” “flagrant violation[s] of international law,” “Judaization,” and promotes anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns.
- In an October 2016 meeting at the House of Lords, PRC launched the “Balfour Apology Campaign,” calling on the UK to apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration that expressed support for a Jewish national home. Baroness Jenny Tonge, known for antisemitic remarks such as blaming Jews and Israel for antisemitism, chaired the proceedings. During the event, a speaker blamed a “heretic” rabbi for “antagoniz[ing]” Hitler and making him “want to systematically kill Jews wherever he could find them as opposed to just make Germany a Jew-free land.”
- PRC published a petition on the UK Parliament website that calls “on Her Majesty’s Government to openly apologise to the Palestinian people for issuing the Balfour Declaration. The colonial policy of Britain between 1917-1948 led to mass displacement of the Palestinian nation.”
- In 2009, Jeremy Corbyn (then a backbench MP) and several other MPs were hosted in Syria by PRC. The delegation, headed by Conservative Lord Sheikh and Liberal Democrat Baroness Tonge, met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
- PRC will hold its annual “Palestinians in Europe” conference on April 15, 2017, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Several groups have petitioned the mayor of Rotterdam, asking that he ban the conference on the grounds that the group is affiliated with Hamas, and will likely promote antisemitic rhetoric.
- PRC is listed as an “Endorser” of the Free Palestine Movement, founded by Paul Larudee, whose extremism includes the promotion of antisemitic themes, rationalization and justification of terrorism, and meeting with and receiving a medal of honor from leaders of Hamas. Larudee has written of Jewish/Zionist “control” over U.S. “media” and “government.”
- Antisemitic ideology: Published a December 2013 article quoting recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature Jose Saramago, who claimed: “The repression from Israel is the worst form of Apartheid. Nobody has the faintest idea of what is going on here, even the best informed people. Everything is in pieces, the land is destroyed and nothing else may be planted. All this smells like a boot camp, like Auschwitz. The israeli have turned into NAZI JEWS” [sic] (emphasis added). PRC states, “[h]e is correct,”” alleging “Zionist terror,” “brutality of the Israeli Army and the heartlessness of its soldiers who seem to have a thirst for blood,” and “ongoing genocide on Palestine.” [sic]
Connections to Hamas
- On December 27, 2010, then Defense Minister Ehud Barak declared the PRC an “unlawful association” due to its alleged association with Hamas. According to the Israeli Security Agency, PRC “is involved in initiating and organizing radical and violent activity against Israel in Europe, while de-legitimizing Israel’s status as a nation among the European community.”
- A 2011 intelligence service report of the German Ministry of the Interior found that ““Hamas does not operate openly in Europe. Instead it uses, for instance, the Palestinian Return Center in London as a forum.”
- According to a report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, PRC is headed by a number of Hamas activists, including: Zaher al- Birawi, Majed al-Zeer, Sheikh Majdi Akeel. Ghassan Faour, and Arafat Madi Shukri. According to the report, PRC also has affiliations with the Muslim Brotherhood.
- Zaher al- Birawi, chairman of PRC’s board of trustees, was active in dispatching convoys to Gaza though former British MP George Galloway’s organization, Viva Palestina. Birawi is also a member of the executive committee of the Global March on Jerusalem, which seeks to “demand freedom for Jerusalem and its people and to put an end to the Apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Judaisation policies affecting the people, land and sanctity of Jerusalem.”
- Sheikh Majdi Akeel, member of PRC’s board of trustees, is also an activist of Interpal, which sends money to Hamas. Interpal is a designated terror organization by the United States. Ghassan Faour is also on Interpal’s board of trustees.
- Arafat Madi Shukri, PRC executive director, is chairman of the ECESG, a European umbrella organization that sends flotillas to Gaza.
- According to a report in The Telegraph, PRC “has regularly hosted Palestinian leaders, including [Hamas leader Ismail] Haniyeh, at its annual conferences.”
- PRC denies Hamas affiliations, claiming that such allegations are “false and unfounded” and “either funded by the government of Israel or funded by the many pro Israeli lobby groups worldwide.” On June 3, 2015, PRC threatened legal action against the Israeli government over allegations of Hamas affiliations.
- On June 1, 2015, the NGO committee of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) granted PRC “observer” status at the UN. According to UN Watch, “NGO status would allow representatives of the Hamas-linked PRC to acquire official UN badges, full access to UN facilities and participation in debates in New York, Geneva, and Vienna, and, perhaps most significantly, global legitimacy.” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh reportedly called PRC to congratulate it on its new status. PRC is also a member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP).
Other anti-Israel Activities
- Participated in the 2001 Durban World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia, which became a platform for intense anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda. According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, PRC’s concluding summary included a call to adopt BDS against Israel as well as a policy of complete isolation of Israel as an “apartheid state.” PRC activists participated in a forum on refugees and displaced persons, distributed maps of Arab villages destroyed in 1948, and flyers headlined “Why Zionism equals racism.”
- In January 2012 organized an “evening of discussion” in the House of Commons on “The political misuse of health in Palestine.” The keynote speaker of the event was Dr. Mads Gilbert, who has an extensive background of ideological extremism and regularly exploits medicine to promote anti-Israel propaganda.
- Published a 2012 book, Understanding the Nakba: An Insight into the Plight of the Palestinians, which “describes constant features of the Nakba including, the plight of refugees, culture of impunity, history of denial, propensity for violence” and argues that the “disappearance of Palestine… was not a random outcome but the inevitable consequence of implementing a racism colonial ideology.”
- Together with Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG) organized a 2011 speaking tour across the UK for leading BDS activist Norman Finkelstein, whose book, The Holocaust Industry argues that the American Jewish establishment exploits the Holocaust for political and financial gain.
- When a Morally Bankrupt UN Blesses a Hamas-Linked Group The New York Post Editorial Board, New York Post, June 25, 2015
- Palestinian NGO May Regret its UN ‘Victory' Hillel Neuer, The Jewish Chronicle, June 23, 2015
- Labour's Hamas Connection Jake Wallis Simons, Politico, June 24, 2015