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War on Want (UK)


War on Want is a leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel BDS campaigns in the UK. It has accused the British government of “Arming Apartheid” and urged it “to implement an immediate two-way arms embargo to end all arms sales to and purchases from Israel.”


Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
FoundedEarly 1950s in London, UK.
In their own wordsFight poverty in developing countries in partnership with people affected by globalisation. We campaign for human rights and against the root causes of global poverty, inequality and injustice.



  • A leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestments, and sanctions) campaigns.
  • Due to its highly inflammatory activities against Israel, Jewish Human Rights Watch filed a formal complaint with the Charity Commission, claiming that there is “reason to believe that [War on Want] is working with terrorist organizations” and carrying out a campaign of “demonization of the state of Israel – that has no bearings on the objects of the charity.”
    • In June 2016, War on Want announced that Executive Director John Hilary would be stepping down.
    • According to the Sunday Times, the UK Charity Commission will publish an “operational case report” about the charity, a rare procedure that is carried out only when there is “significant public interest in the issues involved” or “lessons that other charities can learn”.
  • Regularly erases the context of Palestinian terror and utilizes demonizing rhetoric, accusing Israel of “war crimes,” “collective punishment,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid.”
  • Maintains that the “illegal occupation of Palestine and oppression of the Palestinian people is one of the outstanding moral outrages of our day.”
  • Published a “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” resource, “expos[ing] the companies that are profiting from the Occupation and call[ing] on ordinary people around the world to take action.”
  • Claims that, “Through supporting the movement for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) we are building a global force to combat Israeli Apartheid.”
  • War on Want co-sponsored two events during Israeli Apartheid Week 2017. It explains that “IAW 2017 marks 100 years of Palestinian resistance against settler-colonialism, since the inception of the Balfour Declaration.”
  • During a wave of terrorism that began in October 2015, War On Want erased the context of terrorism and condemned Israel for the alleged “systematic violence Palestinians are subjected to under Israel’s apartheid regime.”
  • Organizing a September 7, 2015 protest in London, coinciding with the DSEI arms fair, calling to “Stop the Arms Fair 2015: Stop Arming Israel Day of Action” and urging demonstrators to “challenge the Israeli and international arms companies’ pursuit of colonialism and death for profit.”
  • Together with the Campaign Against Arms Trade and Palestine Solidarity Campaign, published a July 2015 report, “Arming Apartheid: UK complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people,” funded by the Lipman-Miliband Trust, claiming that “trading arms with Israel makes the UK complicit in Israel’s continuing violations of human rights and international law” and urging the UK “to implement an immediate two-way arms embargo to end all arms sales to and purchases from Israel.”
  • Published a 2013 report, “Killer drones: UK complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people,” inflammatorily alleging that “Israel takes advantage of its armed conflicts to ‘field test’ its weapons on Palestinians.” Repeating calls for BDS, the report similarly demands “a two-way arms embargo between the UK and Israel,” which would include “all dealings with Israeli weapons companies, including Elbit, and an end to all licenses for UK arms exports to Israel.”
  • Advances false comparisons to apartheid South Africa, as well as a so-called Palestinian “right of return,” which would effectually mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
  • Partners with highly politicized NGOs including Civic Coalition for Jerusalem, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, Stop the Wall, and Al-Zytouna “to coordinate international pressure” against Israel.
  • Launched a 2014 campaign against the Israeli security barrier, alleging that the “construction of the Apartheid Wall continues to this day devastating every aspect of Palestinian life…seiz[ing] vital water resources and fertile land, while imprisoning Palestinian communities.” The campaign includes an online petition, addressed to Foreign Secretary William Hague, calling on the British government to impose BDS measures and “stop aiding and assisting Israel until it fully complies with international law.” The campaign also includes a short film with comedian Mark Thomas, who maintains that the “Wall… is the most barbaric inhumane, instrument that I have managed to ramble…”
  • Initiated a 2014 campaign, which distorts the reality of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as the concept of ethical investment, against the British security company G4S, urging it to end its contract with Israel’s prison authorities and alleging complicity in Israel’s “illegal occupation and the imprisonment and torture of Palestinians, including children.”
  • Promotes  the allegation that “In Palestine, the Apartheid Wall is cutting Palestinian communities off from their water resources and fertile land, and imprisoning the population of the Occupied Palestinian West Bank,” ignoring evidence that not only does Israel provide Palestinians in the West Bank  with more water than required under the Oslo framework, but that thieves are responsible for stealing up to 50% of supplies in some areas.

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