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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.



Political Advocacy

  • Regularly erases the context of Palestinian terror and utilizes demonizing rhetoric, accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “war crimes,” “collective punishment,” and “colonialism,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • Maintains that the “illegal occupation of Palestine and oppression of the Palestinian people is one of the outstanding moral outrages of our day.”
  • 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.
  • War on Want co-sponsored two events during Israeli Apartheid Week 2017, marking “100 years of Palestinian resistance against settler-colonialism, since the inception of the Balfour Declaration.”
  • In July 2017, during the violence on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount that included the murder of two Israeli police officers, War on Want published a press release accusing Israel of “wide ranging repression” of Palestinians and that Israeli police used “disproportionate and armed force against Palestinians exercising their fundamental human right to protest,” ignoring that Palestinian rioters “began hurling rocks at security forces” and “some stones fell at the Western Wall plaza below” forcing the evacuation of groups of Jews praying there.
  • In December 2016, launched a project with Addameer, called “Political Prisoners’ Stories.” The project supports calls for BDS, and for governments to uphold their “obligations under international law not to aid and abet war crimes.”
  • 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.”
  • 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…”
  • In 2013, War on Want sponsored a festival in London called “Bethlehem Unwrapped,” featuring a comedy show called “Stand Up Against the Wall,” a “Bethlehem Christmas dinner,” and a debate titled “Both sides of the Barrier – Separation or Security?” that featured Jeff Halper, founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

BDS Activities

  • leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestments, and sanctions).
  • 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 has a campaign against HSBC Bank to “stop investing in and lending to companies arming Israel’s brutal oppression of Palestinians!” as “We can’t allow banks on our high streets to continue lending support to Israel’s militarised repression of Palestinians. Together, we can break the chain of complicity.”
  • In July 2017, War on Want published the report “Deadly Investments” detailing how “UK banks and other financial actors facilitate and profit from Israel’s militarism, making them complicit in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people.” In the report, War on Want called “for banks to divest from and stop facilitating loans to companies that sell weapons and security services to Israel…call for the UK government to implement a two-way arms embargo on Israel.”
  • In April 2017, War on Want campaigned to have Israeli soccer clubs based in West Bank settlements expelled from FIFA.
  • In February 2016, following Oscar nominees being given a free trip to Israel, War on Want stated “These celebrity tourists are…shielded from seeing the Palestinian popular resistance against oppression, manifesting in protests against the Apartheid Wall, against land confiscation and home demolitions in the unrecognised villages of the Naqab… The BDS movement exposes the real brutality of Israeli colonialism, the same scenes that Brand Israel is designed to conceal.”
  • 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.”
  • Initiated a 2014 campaign, which distorts the reality of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the concept of ethical investment, urging British security company G4S 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.”
  • 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.”


All Articles about War on Want (UK)

Further Reading