War on Want, a registered "charitable" organization claiming to "fight global poverty", has launched a new round of the ongoing political campaign to boycott and isolate Israel globally. This public relations effort appears timed to reinforce the academic boycott and a parallel the HRW/ISM-led campaign in the U.S.
As demonstrated in previous NGO Monitor analyses of War on Want, its leaders advance their fringe political goals under the guise of a charity. WoW was formerly headed by British MP George Galloway, currently implicated in the "oil for food" scandal with close ties to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. WoW routinely uses hate rhetoric such as "apartheid", "slavery", and "a heavyweight beating a child" in its assault against Israel, while accusing Israeli leaders of attempting to simulate the aftermath of a natural disaster for Palestinians. Repeating terms used routinely by the radical Palestinian NGO network regarding refugee claims and calls on Israeli citizens to refuse military service, War on Want’s program seeks to undermine the survival of the State of Israel and its right to defend itself.
Like the other elements in the movement to demonize Israel, War on Want’s latest campaign focuses on the security barrier, which it calls "the world’s biggest prison". WoW’s incitement makes no mention of the terrorism that has killed over 1000 Israelis (mostly civilians), and which highlights the moral rationale of this defensive response.
Following the standard pattern, War on Want repeats the messages of other members in the extremist NGO network, such as the Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center, the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC), PNGO, BADIL, Electronic Intifada, www.stopthewall.org, etc.
On the basis of these "sources" alone, WoW’s alleges that Israel’s security barrier "is destroying the possibility of a Palestinian state, because Palestinian land is being divided into ghettos." Other false allegations include electrification of the barrier, "with watchtowers and sniper positions every few hundred metres." In several instances their website unsettlingly features a photo of a Swastika inside the Star of David, reflecting the fundamentally immoral comparison of Israeli self-defense with the Nazi Holocaust. In a similar assault, WoW blames Israel for a lack of sufficient healthcare facilities in Palestinian towns, going on to proclaim that "the Wall is part of an on-going attempt to make life unendurable for Palestinians."
Highlighting its fraudulent abuse of the "charity" banner, War on Want acts as if the concept of human rights does not apply to Israelis. Instead, this assault justifies terror and brutality, claiming that the violence "is a result of Palestinian anger and desperation at the situation they have suffered." The campaign presents figures on Palestinian casualties, while failing to mention Israeli victims of Palestinian terror. And War on Want adopts traditional antisemitic libels (such as "poisoning the wells") in repeating allegations that the Israel Defense Forces targets Palestinian water sources "as a form of collective punishment". Similarly, in WoW’s distorted image, Israel alone is to blame for the "seemingly endless downward spiral of violence".
Towards the end of this statement, which is the antithesis of its official charitable mandate of combating poverty and world hunger, WoW’s leaders recognize their vulnerability. In an awkward attempt to hide the evidence, they ask: "What’s this got to do with Poverty?" The answer they present is that "the Palestinians’ poverty is deeply political" – a telling reflection of the primacy of their radical ideological agenda. When it comes to the Middle East, WoW exploits the charitable status to promote its extremist position.
See: Bernard Josephs, War on Want Urges Sanctions Against Israel, The Jewish Chronicle, May 18, 2005