Po­lit­i­cal char­i­ties

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT & ANALYSIS -

Our story this week that the Char­ity Com­mis­sion has sup­ported the right of the char­ity War on Want to be in­volved in a pro-Pales­tinian demon­stra­tion ought to give the Jewish com­mu­nity pause for thought. For many years, War on Want has been a thorn in the side of the Jewish com­mu­nity, as it re­peat­edly seemed to be op­er­at­ing out­side its char­i­ta­ble re­mit. Po­lit­i­cal leaflets from the char­ity, specif­i­cally re­lat­ing to Is­rael, and fre­quent ap­pear­ances at anti-Is­rael demon­stra­tions caused nu­mer­ous com­plaints about War on Want to the Char­ity Com­mis­sion. But War on Want al­ways ap­peared to get out of jail free, claim­ing that it was el­i­gi­ble to take part in po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns as long as they were con­sis­tent with their char­i­ta­ble ob­jec­tives. At a meet­ing nearly a year ago in which the Char­ity Com­mis­sion sought the views of faith com­mu­ni­ties, mem­bers of the Jewish com­mu­nity won­dered why there ap­peared to be one sauce for the pro-Pales­tinian goose and an­other for the Jewish gan­der, since Jewish char­i­ties have made a point of be­ing pos­i­tively vir­ginal lest char­i­ta­ble guide­lines should be breached. At this meet­ing there were in­di­ca­tions that the Com­mis­sion was ready to ac­cept a more re­laxed in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the guide­lines. It seems, there­fore, that the door is open­ing for such an in­vi­ta­tion to be tested. We en­cour­age the Jewish com­mu­nity to push the door as hard as pos­si­ble.

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