Campaign group denies anti-semitism slur

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Anti-poverty charity demands apology after "fabricated" article 

5th April 2016 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A national newspaper has been slammed by a leading charity for running a story it says was a “complete fabrication.”

The Sunday Telegraph alleged the Department for International Development (DFID) had stopped funding War on Want because it sponsored events accused of promoting hatred and violence against Jews.

It said it had received £260,000 in funding from DFID over the last two years but the charity’s executive director John Hilary dismissed the claim and said War on Want will be seeking corrections from the paper.

The headline “Charity backing anti-Israel rallies has state cash pulled” said that DFID pulled funding from War on Want after it “helped pay for ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ in February this year”.

In the piece a DFID spokesman is quoted as saying it ceased funding War on Want totally apart from a small project with a distinct branch of the charity in Northern Ireland.

The paper also said it had undercover recordings of events where anti-Semitism and demands for the destruction of Israel were expressed. 

The story in the Telegraph is a complete fabrication

John Hilary said: “The story in the Telegraph is a complete fabrication. War on Want has not sought any UK government support for its operations for a number of years now, so it is absurd to suggest that we have had our funding pulled.

“The insinuation that we have been criticised by the government for standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people is equally bogus. We will be contacting the Telegraph to help it set the record straight."

A spokesman for DFID confirmed that the department had not funded the charity since 2015 and said that: "it is categorically not the case that funding was pulled". He also confirmed that the charity had not applied for government funding since 2012. 

The row comes after the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) became embroiled in a row with The Times newspaper over a story alleging the charity had mis-spent a £3.5 million legacy.

LACS dismissed the claims as "malicious nonsense".