• Founded in the early 1950s, London, UK
  • Mission statement: "Fighting for a world without poverty…As part of our strategy to make a difference to workers living in poverty we recognise the need to support organisations working in areas suffering from political conflict. Our aim is to ensure that workers in conflict zones are able to work in secure conditions."
  • Palestinian partner NGOs include the highly politicized Union of Palestine Medical Relief Committees
  • Previously run by British MP George Galloway, expelled from the Labour Party for public incitement against British forces serving in the Iraq conflict, and under investigation for alleged links to the Saddam Hussein regime.
  • Sources of Funding: No information available
  • Website: http://www.waronwant.org/
  • Email contact: Louise Richards, Chief Executive lrichards@waronwant.org">lrichards@waronwant.org

War on Want is an explicitly political organization that uses economic issues to further its agenda. Among the major issues on this agenda is its "Palestine campaign", and in July 2004, this included "The Writings on the Wall" – a political campaign in support of the effort to demonize Israel’s security barrier and defense against terrorism.

This explicit political and demonizing agenda was acknowledged by Louise Richards, Chief Executive of War on Want, who declared, "It is imperative that the UK government backs the international legal process and applies full economic and diplomatic pressure on the Israeli government to end their assault on the rights and welfare of the Palestinian people."

As part of its media and publicity campaign on this issue, War on Want features MP’s and entertainment celebrities who are asked to sign a mock "wall" denouncing Israel’s policies and supporting the ICJ "advisory opinion".

In this political campaign, War on Want declares "The separation wall (or ‘fence’) being built by Israel officially under the guise of ‘keeping Palestinian suicide bombers out’ is set to be 650km long – that is, twice as long as the Berlin wall, and three times as high." As in other cases of anti-Israel political propaganda, War on Want’s diminution of the brutality of Palestinian terrorism violates core principles of human rights, and undermines any claims to justice and morality from the members of this group.

In a cynical use of publicity, War on Want has recruited Roger Waters, a former member of rock group Pink Floyd, which had success in the early 1980s with an album and movie entitled "The Wall". Rogers repeats the false claims blaming Israel for the suffering and victimization of the Palestinians. "The poverty inflicted by the wall has been devastating for Palestinians. It has kept children from their schools, the sick from proper medical care and continues to destroy the Palestinian economy." In making such claims, Mr. Waters appears to be entirely ignorant of the history of the conflict, the decades of Palestinian and Arab rejectionism and war against Israel, corruption, and the resulting poverty and suffering that began long before "the wall".

Similarly, War on Want’s ‘Palestine Campaign’ includes a recently published report entitled "Fighting Palestinian Poverty". This text repeats the fictitious Palestinian version of history and rhetoric of hatred and justification for terror:

"The Palestinians have endured the gradual loss of their land and systematic displacement as a result of Zionist colonisation of Palestine since the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th century. They have also experienced military invasions, violence, settlement building on their land, and the destruction of the Palestinian economy."

In this text, the historic links and presence of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel for over 4000 years are erased, following the lead of Yasser Arafat and Palestinian propagandists. Similarly, there is no mention of Arab rejection of the 1947 UN Partition resolution, the wars and invasions, or terrorism. The result is a justification for violence that is the anti-thesis of War on Want’s claims to pursue justice.

(Compiled with the assistance of Media Response – UK)