Con­cern voiced over Mitz­vah Day part­ner Mus­lim Aid

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY DANIEL SUGARMAN

QUES­TIONS HAVE been raised about a joint event be­ing held by Mitz­vah Day and a char­ity ac­cused by the Is­raeli govern­ment of be­ing “part of Ha­mas’s fundrais­ing net­work… both sup­port­ing and as­sist­ing it”.

Mus­lim Aid, which has been banned from Is­rael for the past decade, is tak­ing part in a “Chicken Soup Chal­lenge” on Mitz­vah Day later this month, with the aim of mak­ing 5,000 por­tions to dis­trib­ute to the needy.

Alan Men­doza, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Henry Jack­son So­ci­ety, said: “Ques­tions have re­peat­edly been raised in the UK about Mus­lim Aid’s fun­nelling of funds to groups al­legedly linked to Pales­tinian ter­ror­ist groups Ha­mas and Is­lamic Jihad.

“Given the con­sid­er­able un­cer­tainty about its ac­tiv­i­ties, it is a ter­ri­ble er­ror of judg­ment for Mitz­vah Day to have cho­sen to part­ner with this or­gan­i­sa­tion. Those British Jews who have had fam­ily mem­bers and friends in Is­rael killed as a re­sult of ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­ity will be ap­palled by such in­sen­si­tiv­ity.”

How­ever, in 2010, a UK Char­ity Com­mis­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded that al­le­ga­tions that Mus­lim Aid had fun­nelled money to or­gan­i­sa­tions linked to Ha­mas were “un­sub­stan­ti­ated”.

Mus­lim Aid said: “The Char­ity Com­mis­sion found no ba­sis for the al­le­ga­tions against Mus­lim Aid on links to ter­ror­ism as far back as 2010.”

It added: “In Gaza, as else­where in the world, Mus­lim Aid has rig­or­ous con­trols in place to en­sure the as­sis­tance we pro­vide gets to the peo­ple who need it most. All or­gan­i­sa­tions that we work through un­dergo rig­or­ous due dili­gence checks.

“Mus­lim Aid has never had any links to ter­ror­ist groups. Mus­lim Aid works via trusted part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tions, which are care­fully screened and do not ap­pear on in­ter­na­tional lists of pro­scribed or­gan­i­sa­tions.”

Mitz­vah Day founder and chair Laura Marks OBE said: “Mitz­vah Day is all about bring­ing peo­ple to­gether and show­ing that there is more that unites than di­vides us.

“This par­tic­u­lar project is all about Jews and Mus­lims com­ing to­gether to feed the home­less. We do not raise money or fund projects.”

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