It’s good to talk, so reconnect to BT.

There is, currently, a concerted campaign by War On Want, a British charity, to force BT to disconnect from its alliance with Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunications group.

According to a War On Want email “Thousands of you have already complained to BT over its complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. Thank you.”

The War On Want website is more like a War On Israel one, which is fine if that is how they wish to spend their donor’s money but, as I have documented in the past, one of the biggest donors to War On Want is BBC’s Comic Relief (see the 2009 accounts).

One of War On Want’s favourite stunts is to invade British and American supermarkets, dump all Israeli produce into trolleys and run away when the police arrive.

The WOW website states: “War on Want supports the call from Palestinian civil society to build a global movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law and meets the following three demands: an end to the Occupation; the right of return for Palestinian refugees; and equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel itself.”

I agree with the last requirement but the rest of this statement is simply a call for the total destruction of Israel.

Fortunately, the man at the helm of BT can see right through WOW’s campaign.

The WOW email states that “War on Want have yet to receive a formal response from BT, but supporters who have taken our e-action have received the following response.”

On Behalf Of michael.prescott@bt.com
Sent: 15 November 2010 17:43
To: Emma Stanforth
Subject: Hang up on the Occupation

Dear Emma
Many thanks for your email to Ian Livingston, who has asked me to respond.

BT has indeed admitted Bezeq International to the BT Alliance. We do not see an issue in dealing with what is, in effect, the national telecoms company for Israel.

We are not alone in this. I gather that PalTel, the Palestine Telecommunications Company, also has dealings with Bezeq. Their website carried an announcement on March 21 2010, detailing an arrangement enabling customers who use their prepaid phone cards to have direct access to the fixed line network of Bezeq International.

BT delivers services in 170 countries worldwide. Communication can be vital in helping to resolve conflict and disagreement. In that spirit, while respecting the strong views that you express, we feel unable to pursue the course of action you suggest.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Prescott
Group Director of Communications
BT Group

So although the Palestinians don’t wish to boycott Bezeq War On Want does, which reveals WOW’s true motive.

Unsurprisingly, War on Want doesn’t like seeing their hypocrisy exposed and, for once, their agenda hitting a brick wall.

More sinisterly, in the email to supporters War On Want says “Its time to communicate to BT through a medium they understand”.

War On Want’s motto is “Fighting Global Poverty”.

It should concentrate on that instead of wasting donations on puerile anti-Israel stunts.

If not then Comic Relief and the Charity Commissioners should really be hanging up on War On Want instead.

War On Want visits BT (waronwant.org)

War On Want visits BT (waronwant.org)

About these ads

34 responses to “It’s good to talk, so reconnect to BT.

  1. War On Want is not worthy of the name ‘charity’ anymore. They have lost sight of all the people who need help, in favour of promoting hatred against the world’s one Jewish state. John Hilary is a disgraceful little man.

  2. “I gather that PalTel, the Palestine Telecommunications Company, also has dealings with Bezeq”. Brilliant

  3. They are in breach of their charity status by conducting such antisemitic propaganda (as are Oxfam, Amnesty and several others). Just look at their website. These are seriously sick and vile people. I have just phoned them to tell them so. I’ve also told them that they are going to lose a lot of money as a result, and I’ll email all my contacts to that effect and ask them to pass it on.
    I’ll complain to the Charity Commission as soon as I have a moment. I urge everyone to do all the above, too.

    • I’d like to write to complain to the Charity Commision too….where do I contact them? I am going to ask all my contacts to do the same!

  4. once you look at the funding it is always mind-blowing to learn who is supporting them

  5. Yoni, kol hakovod for your action.

    All their donors should be contacted and told of the campaign of hate that WoW is conducting.

  6. PS – and if people phone them do so via BT!

  7. Or Bezeq :)

  8. War On Want have for a very long time been deeply involved in Palestinian campaigning – I have monitored Their fringe meetings & stall for Anti-Israel material at The Trades Union Congress for many years – They produce very unbalanced political pamphlets & even sell a Palestinian Keffiyeh design T-Shirt .

    The picture above shows a typical War On Want stunt – They emotivally display a wall ( which We all know is 90% electronic fencing ) & They neglect to display any representation of the Terrorism & Suicide Bombings that made The Security Barrier necessary !

  9. All those complaining to the Charity commission, you need to watch WoW’s “evidence before the Russel Tribunal -its on video at the RT site. John Hilary described how to push the boundaries of the Charity Commission’s rules to allow campaigning against Israel, sorry “for Palestine.
    Here are my notes, most of it verbatim transcript:
    He wanted to reassure the many other charities who feel the right to campaign becomes problematic in the case of Palestine.
    Accusations of antisemitism make them feel nervous. These accusations are widely used by Zionist groups and the Zionist Fed. Many Zionist groups have learned to use the structures of the Charity Law: they will write to the Charity Commission complaining we (Wow) have infringed their rules.
    “WoW tries to push back the barriers of what is permissible and push back against the Zionists who call us into question. Our board of trustees has identified this as an important issue and that we not to be cowed. Our BDS campaign is deliberately chosen to prove to others that you can legimitately call for BDS . Wow signed a letter in the Guardian which called, with others for a suspension of the diplomatic upgrade with Israel. The next day we got a phone call from another charity asking if one is allowed to do that. We said yes. That encouraged other charities to call for the no upgrade.
    We could then sit with the Foreign Secretary and say that everyone in this room is against your upgrade of diplomatic relations.

    “So don’t be scared of the Zionist movement which is in retreat”

    • richardmillett

      Thanks, Amie. Will have a look. It is hard to challenge the commissioners. It has been tried before but no harm having another go. Nothing to lose.

  10. The Tribunal said it will have transcripts up within the next 10 days.

  11. Can one of you post a list of points that need to be made to the Charity Commision against WoW please? Then we could get lots of people to write.
    Thanks!

  12. Seconding Sandra.

    “The next day we got a phone call from another charity asking if one is allowed to do that. We said yes. ”

    That, of course, is a blatant lie.
    The true situation is that the Charity Commissioners are a bunch of fashionable airheads who swallow everything they read in the Guardian. They are professional quangoistas. They are too intellectually dense to be capable of reading, understanding and implementing their own rules strictly and even-handedly. Instead, they believe that organisations that are a front for jihadists and terrorists are genuine ‘charities’, because it says so on their letterheads. They are the most useless of all the regulatory bodies in this country, and that’s saying something (just look at Ofcom and jihadist broadcasters). They have been presented with evidence of where money comes from and where it goes to many times, and have done eff all.
    This is, after all, a country where a politician can openly give money to an outlawed terrorist organisation, and nobody has the brain, guts or integrity to do anything about it. This country is f***d.

  13. This country isn’t f****d at all.

    Keep positive and keep acting.

  14. Yoni:I don’t hold with Cameron generally, but yes, if any quango was a better candidate for his bonfire, I have yet to see one. Why has the CC escaped?

  15. richard: WoW is on the last video of Sunday afternoon under conclusions.
    btw my HP post on Russel Tribunal is up now. (adorned with your photo!)

    http://hurryupharry.org/2010/11/17/an-open-letter-to-the-chief-executive-of-the-law-society/

  16. Jonathan Hoffman

    http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/uk-charity-commission-decision-war-on-want

    I spent a long time trying to get the Charity Commission to act against WoW. I believe WoW has been warned. You need to concentrate on Guidance Note CC9, the legal obligation on charities to tell the truth in their written material. You will not get anywhere by claiming that WoW is antisemitic – even if it is. The Commission will simply say that if WoW is guilty of infringing the Public Order Act (ie incitement) then you should go to the Police and not the Charity Commission. You are wasting your time if your go down this route. Concentrate on the CC9 ‘tell the truth’ obligation.

  17. Jonathan Hoffman

    http://www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745330662&

    Richard and I attended War On Want’s launch of this drivel last night at SOAS, chaired by John Hilary.

    Cronin claimed that Agrexco passes off produce from settlements as produce from Israel in order to evade EU import duty. When I challenged him for evidence, he could produce nothing, zilch, zip …

  18. Since nobody else seems to have yet pointed out what I thought was well known: George Galloway was the General Secretary of War on Want for several years before he entered Parliament in 1987. That’s really all you need to know about it.

    The mystery is not so much why the Charity Commission has not stepped in long ago, but why they are continually one of the major recipients of funding from Comic Relief (and we are talking MILLIONS of pounds here going directly to fund anti-Israel propaganda rather than starving Africans). Oh, but Comic Relief is run by the BBC….

  19. Yes, that really says it all.
    Sorry, but a country that has no guts to do something about a bloated, greedy, megalomaniac, racist, mega-arrogant, bullying, lying, corrupt and dyed-in-the-wool antisemitic state broadcaster, is f***d.

  20. Yoni, I agree with a lot of things you write and I respect the fact that you act on your concerns.

    I don’t agree this country is f****d. Why would I live her a moment longer if I really thought that?

    I have been the first to protest about the BBC’s anti-Israel moments. But to call is “dyed-in-the-wool antisemitic” is strange.

    Why did it broadcast the superb Panorama documentary about the flotilla if it is “dyed-in-the-wool antisemitic”?

    Why did it refuse to broadcast the Gaza appeals in 2009 if it is “dyed-in-the-wool antisemitic”?

    Why did it only this week broadcast a documentary exposing antisemitism in some Islamic schools if it is “dyed-in-the-wool antisemitic”?

    Why does it consistently (and quite rightly) promote Jewish people to its most senior positions if it is “dyed-in-the-wool antisemitic”?

  21. “I have been the first to protest about the BBC’s anti-Israel moments”

    I first protested in 1982. Can you beat that? :)

    These are not ‘moments’. It’s a consistent agenda, embodied in J. Bowen’s screeching hatred. And Paxman’s bile and sarcasm. And the choice of Israel-hating audience on QT, to say nothing of their choice of panels. It goes on and on. They don’t like uppity Joos.

    “But to call is “dyed-in-the-wool antisemitic” is strange.”

    You have your opinion, I have mine.

    “Why did it refuse to broadcast the Gaza appeals in 2009 if it is “dyed-in-the-wool antisemitic”?”

    To appear superficially unbiased.

    “Why does it consistently (and quite rightly) promote Jewish people to its most senior positions if it is “dyed-in-the-wool antisemitic”?”

    Why ‘rightly’? I don’t believe Jews have any special entitlement.

    Your argument is a non-argument. There are plenty of Jews who have turned against Jews, from the vile Fry to the revolting Sayle. There are also plenty of Jews who simply duck and become invisible when the chips are down, e.g. Sacks. Having Jews in the BBC is irrelevant. They only like Jews who don’t rock the boat, who know their place.

  22. Fair enough, I hear what you say Yoni.

  23. PS – I wasn’t suggesting any form of ‘special entitlement’ either. I was just distancing myself from the ‘they help each other out’ nonsense.

  24. OK, Chas.

    Maybe ‘riddled with antisemitism from the foundations to the penthouse’ is a better metaphor.

  25. I quite like that turn of phrase.

    By the way, you described Stephen Fry as ‘vile’. I’d be careful. Vile people will be very offended to be compared to him!

  26. Fair point, but do we worry about offending vile people?

    And thanks.

  27. juliantheprostate

    There must surely, as Jonathan Hoffman has pointed out, be a difference between supporting assistance for oppressed people and launching into explanations for their oppression which blames others for it. WoW is thoroughly entitled to focus on Palestinians, but is not entitled to engage in false explanations for the poverty of those who are poor. The luxury shops, restaurants and accommodation in Gaza proves that responsibility for the poverty of Palestinians lies at the door of the Palestinians’ leaders.

    Indulging in name-calling and the game of “Think up an Epithet” for individual twerps is fruitless. We must plug the facts and display the evidence and thus give the lie to non-newspapers like the Guardian and the selective reporting which they use. E.g. the 180,000 Palestinians who have been treated in Israeli hospitals, the manifests for convoys going into Gaza signed off by UN officials onthe border, etc. Especially the Koranic directives for Jew-hatred which has underlain the refusal of Arab countries to make peace, recognise the rights of the Jewish people in Palestine, etc.

    It’s the drip drip drip effect which I think will bear most fruit, at least among non-Islamic people in Britain.

  28. I clicked the ‘Winning Justice for Palestine’ link on the War On Want frontpage http://www.waronwant.org/campaigns/winning-justice-for-palestine

  29. Thanks Jonathan and Yoni. I complained to the Charity Commission, and even appealed it, but it went nowhere. I will contact them again, regarding CC9.

    The more complaints they get, the better!