The Charity War on Want has been warned by the Charity Comm-ission that a campaign demanding the suspension of a key trade treaty between Israel and the EU could damage its reputation.
The commission told the JC that War on Want’s trustees must demonstrate “a reasonable expectation” that its political activities would further its “charitable purposes.”
It also suggested it “consider and manage any reputational or other risks” posed by such activities.
However, the charity criticised by Jewish leaders for a biased stance against Israel has already employed London lawyers to press its case.
War on Want accuses the British government of failing to ensure Israel’s compliance with humanitarian law, as required under the terms of its association agreement with the EU.
Another accusation is that White-hall and Brussels failed to take Israel to task over last year’s International Court of Justice ruling that the West Bank separation wall is illegal.
Legal firm Hickman and Rose has written to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on the charity’s behalf. They are calling for the release of documents showing any action taken to enforce Israel’s human rights obligations under the association treaty.
The lawyer dealing with the matter, Daniel Machover, told the JC: “If, in our view, insufficient steps have been taken, then litigation is possible against the EU or the UK. Our aim is to achieve the use of the human rights issue so that Israel feels obliged to take steps such as demolishing those parts of the security wall outside the [pre-1967 Six-Day War] Green Line.”