How British ‘charities’ are aiding Israeli genocide in Gaza

By David Miller

The genocide in Gaza is being perpetrated by the so-called ‘Israel Defense Forces’. The whole world is appalled. Yet, in the UK, there are organizations raising money to support the genocidal occupation forces.

The Association for Israel’s Soldiers is based in occupied Palestine and claims to be the sole avenue through which donations can be made directly to IDF soldiers and IDF units. These donations come from Zionists in Palestine as well as from the US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, France and the UK.

The UK Friends of the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel Soldiers (AWIS) is a registered charity that is obliged by law to show public benefit. Its charitable objects include relief of need and suffering, advancement of education and provision of facilities for recreation of the occupation forces.

It does this by providing Mobile Synagogues, recreational facilities for injured genocidaires, free holidays, free student scholarships, mobile Gym and rest and recreation facilities. Among the benefits are swimming pools including the one promoted in a video on Facebook in May last year. In the video, AWIS says they “created a swimming pool in the heart of the desert for the training base of the artillery corps.” Meanwhile, drinking water for Gaza has been cut off for more than three months.

Each year, AWIS also puts on an “enlistment festival” for 30,000 recruits to the genocidal occupation forces.

Guidance published by the Charity Commission states that it is a legal requirement that “any detriment or harm that results from [charitable purposes] must not outweigh the benefit.” Perhaps supporting genocide outweighs those purposes?

Among the Trustees of the charity is Colonel Richard Kemp, a former British soldier said to have hateful views on Islam and Muslims. In December, the BBC was criticized for interviewing Kemp without reference to his role as a UK-AWIS trustee. In one recent interview with a pro-Israel blog, Kemp was quoted as describing the killing of civilians in Gaza as “necessary”.

Another trustee is Josh Swidler, who is in the financial industry at a firm called Teamshares. Emphasizing the link between Zionists and Islamophobia, it turns out that Swidler was formerly one of the two directors of Henry Jackson Society Inc., the US fundraising arm of the Islamophobic British think tank.

Research for Palestine Declassified, where I am the producer, has traced around twenty British charities that have donated to UK AWIS over the last twenty years. When we examined them we found that they tend to donate to a variety of Zionist causes. In particular, we looked to see which of the recipients directly supported the occupation forces, the so-called “Israel Defense Forces”, illegal settlements, Jewish supremacist sects, or Islamophobic think tanks. These four categories are a sort of Zionist funding bingo. Our research is presented in a table on our investigative Wiki database Powerbase under the title: “UK AWIS - supporters”. The data points there also link to profiles of each of the charities on the Powerbase website as well as the principal individuals involved and how they made their money. The list of charities is as follows:

  1. A. M. Charitable Trust
  2. C H (1980) Charitable Trust
  3. David and Ruth Lewis Family Charitable Trust
  4. Denise Cohen Charitable Trust
  5. G. R. P. Charitable Trust
  6. Gerald and Gail Ronson Family Foundation
  7. Jack Goldhill Charitable Trust
  8. Lawson Beckman Charitable Trust
  9. Loftus Charitable Trust
  10. Family Foundations Trust
  11. R and S Cohen Foundation
  12. Rosenblatt Family Charitable Trust
  13. Stanley and Zea Lewis Family Foundation
  14. The J E Joseph Charitable Trust
  15. The Locker Foundation
  16. The Maurice Hatter Foundation
  17. The Peltz Trust (Dissolved June 2023)
  18. The Phillips and Rubens Charitable Trust
  19. The Phillips Family Charitable Trust
  20. Wigoder Family Foundation

Of the twenty charities we have named which donate to AWIS, five in total have a “full house” sending money to at least one of each of the four categories of funding. We discuss these here at greater length.

Ronson also set up the Community Security Trust that runs point of the Zionist regime in the UK, spies on anti-Zionist Jews and deliberately confuses anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in line with the policies of the Zionist regime. Ronson has collaborated with Mossad for decades, through the CST (created in 1994) and before that its predecessor, the Group Relations Educational Trust. One of the charitable objects of the CST is that it will ‘promote research’ and ‘promote public education about’ extremism. In practice, however, Ronson promotes extremism via his family foundation. Among recipients of funding, in addition to AWIS, are:

  1. The extreme Chabad sect, which Ronson has been supporting for over 40 years.
  2. The Jewish National Fund and the Jerusalem Foundation, both of which are engaged in supporting ethnic cleansing and illegal settlement activity in Palestine.
  3. Islamophobic think tanks Civitas and Policy Exchange.

These donations are further evidence that Ronson in practice supports extremism and genocide, rather than opposing them.

  • Loftus Charitable Trust, set up by the Loftus family, which made its money from the watchmaking firm Accurist. The family sold the firm to Sekonda in 2014. As well as AWIS, it also funds the extremist Zionist sect Chabad Lubavitch and the Islamophobic think tank Henry Jackson Society. An interesting sign of the small and connected world of the Zionist business class is that the owner of Time Products, the parent of Sekonda to which the Loftus family sold Accurist, is one Marcus Margulies. His family foundation also funds illegal settlements via the Jerusalem Foundation, to which it gave £2.25 million in 2021. The Loftus Trust also gives to a long list of genocidal Zionist groups including the Community Security Trust, Jewish Leadership Council, Mitzvah Day, Stand With Us, UK Friends of IDC (the only private university in ‘Israel’), UKLFI Charitable Trust (which supports the lawfare group UK Lawyers for Israel), Union of Jewish Students, United Jewish Israel Appeal, Zionist Federation
  • David and Ruth Lewis Family Charitable Trust, set up by the Lewis family which owns the River Island clothing chain. The charity also funds Islamophobic think tank, Policy Exchange and illegal settlements via the Jerusalem Foundation and the Jewish National Fund. In addition, the trust funds a range of extremist Zionist groups including Campaign Against Antisemitism, Community Security Trust, Jewish Leadership Council, Palestinian Media Watch, One Voice Europe, and United Jewish Israel Appeal.
  • The Family Foundations Trust, set up by the UK property investor Richard Mintz. The charity has funded UK AWIS and another charity supporting the IDF – Beit Halochem, which we will discuss below. It has also funded the extremist sect Chabad-Lubavitch, the Islamophobic think tank Henry Jackson Society, and the Community Security Trust. Richard’s son and charity trustee Joshua co-founded the website Friend-a-Soldier, an online platform where soldiers can become ‘digital ambassadors’ for the occupation forces.
  • Phillips & Rubens Charitable Trust, set up in 1969 by the accountant Michael Phillips and his wife Ruth. Phillips was at that time a partner in the accountancy firm Hacker, Rubens, Phillips & Young, which he ran with the late Stuart YoungStuart Young would later be appointed chairman of the BBC by Margaret Thatcher, and was the brother of David (later Lord) Young who at one time chaired the board of trustees of The Peter Cruddas Foundation, which has funded the anti-Muslim think tank Policy Exchange. Lord Young and Michael Phillips were also both trustees of the Stuart Young Foundation along with the solicitor Martin Paisner, who is also a trustee of the Phillips & Rubens Charitable Trust and a large number of other Zionist and/or conservative foundations. The charity has donated to the occupation forces via AWIS from as early as 2009. It has also donated to British ORT, an “education” grouping that trains staff both in Israeli arms firms and in the occupation forces in “Israel”. It supports illegal settlements and ethnic cleansing in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) via the Jerusalem Foundation and Yad Sarah, and supports the Jewish supremacist Lubavitch Foundation and the following Islamophobic think tanks: Centre for Social Cohesion, Civitas, Henry Jackson Society. Naturally, it also supports a range of (Zionist) Synagogues (e.g. United Synagogue) and lobby groups including the United Jewish Israel Appeal and the Union of Jewish Students.

UK AWIS is already under investigation by the UK charity regulator the Charity Commission. The investigation should widen to include the nexus of genocide-supporting charities revealed here. They should be shut down by the Charity Commission.

In addition to AWIS, Zionist occupation forces are provided with millions in funding every year by other charities. These charities are almost wholly unknown.

Palestine Declassified has unearthed new details on one of these charities called Beit Halochem. It is dedicated to raising money for what it calls ‘our’ heroes who have ‘fought’ to ‘protect the state of Israel’ – meaning members of the genocidal occupation forces currently engaged in mass killings in Gaza and throughout Palestine.

Charitable objectives of the charity include the relief of ‘Adverse physical and mental effects suffered by individuals in Israel’. It doesn’t say so, explicitly, but it’s clear that the individuals noted do not include Palestinian civilians. As Beit Halochem says, its name ‘literally means “House of Warriors”.’

This racism in the application of its ‘public benefit’ is one reason why this charity should be shut down by the UK Charity Commission.

Another is that it violates the harm principle – the harm of supporting genocide clearly outweighs the benefit of rehabilitation of injured genocidaires.

The Chairman of the charity is Andrew Wolfson, of the hugely wealthy Wolfson family. The family is best known for its ownership of the Next retail empire. Here is a picture of him with the genocidal president of ‘Israel’, Isaac Herzog, and the extremist advocate of the settler movement, the ambassador to London Tzipi Hotevely.

The Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust is named after his grandfather who died in 1970. Other trustees include his brother (Lord) Simon Wolfson, the Chief Executive of Next plc, and (Lord) Jon Mendelsohn, a key Israel lobby actor. The charity has donated over £600,000 to Beit Halochem since 2018.

The charity also helps to encourage racism against Muslims by funding Islamophobic think tanks such as Civitas and Policy Exchange. It also funds the Jerusalem Foundation which is directly engaged in settlement activity and ethnic cleansing in East Al-Quds.

Research for Palestine Declassified reveals that Beit Halochem receives funds and support from a range of other Zionist family foundations including the aforementioned Denise Cohen Charitable Trust, Family Foundations Trust, Gerald and Gail Ronson Family Foundation, Loftus Charitable Trust, and The Locker Foundation, all of which also fund UK AWIS. Other charities involved include The Pears Family Charitable Foundation, Exilarch’s Foundation and Bluston Charitable Settlement. Here are some details on each of these three charities:

  • The Pears Family Charitable Foundation is run by the Pears brothers once voted the worst landlord in the UK by viewers of a BBC consumer program. Their charity also funds Islamophobic think tank Civitas and Policy Exchange, the Zionist Council of Christians and Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Union of Jewish Students, the United Jewish Israel Appeal, and normalizing charities including Mitzvah Day UK, Solutions Not Sides, The Abraham Fund Initiatives. It has also funded the extreme ultra-Zionist Chabad sect, recently in the news for the illegally dug tunnels underneath their global HQ in New York.
  • The Exilarch’s Foundation is run by David Dangoor, the property magnate who runs property firm Monopro which registered £121.9m assets in 2017-18. His foundation also funds the Islamophobic think tank Henry Jackson Society and ethnic cleansing in East al-Quds, via the Jerusalem Foundation as well as the Community Security Trust, the Faith and Belief Forum, the Tony Blair Institute, the Union of Jewish Students, the pro-Israel Jewish Leadership Council and the United Jewish Israel Appeal, the largest Zionist charity in the country.
  • Bluston Charitable Settlement is run by Anna Josse, who co-runs private equity firm Regent Capital having established and run the Zionist foundation the New Israel Fund UK in the 1990s. She also helps to run Prism the Gift Fund which is a charity that operates and acts for a range of Zionist and other charities. Josse is a Manchester University graduate (after a stunt at a seminary in Israel) and former JSoc chair. She also worked at the Social Market Foundation think-tank. In addition to funding genocide via Beit Halochem, Bluston funds ethnic cleansing via the Jerusalem Foundation in occupied al-Quds and the Jewish National Fund.

Among the testimonials on the Beit Halochem UK website is one from Ian Austin, the extreme Zionist and former Labour MP who has displayed a profile picture on X referring to Gaza with the words “Let Israel finish the job”.

There are also tributes from the Board of Deputies, the Chief Rabbi and even Israel’s settler-supporting genocidal ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotevely.

Overall, Beit Halochem is devoted to supporting the genocidal Israel occupation forces in Gaza in what appears to be breaches of UK charity law.

We will pass the evidence we have unearthed to the UK Charity Commission.

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