War on Want’s War on Israel

Protesting in Waitrose all courtesy of War on Want

Warning; if you give to BBC’s Comic Relief, please turn away now as you may find the following disturbing.

War on Want is a registered charity that claims it’s in the front line in the struggle against global poverty and injustice. It has seven main campaigns one of which is the “humanitarian crisis in Palestine”.

But WOW’s description of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has the most biased spin possible. There is not a single mention of Palestinian acts that have left thousands of innocent Israeli civilians dead and disabled.

And I recently visited War on Want’s offices after seeing this public announcement:

War on Want’s Supermarket Action – to stop the sale of settlement goods. When? 6pm sharp! Where? Meet at War on Want’s offices for a full briefing. Then head to a nearby supermarket. 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT. Nearest tube Old Street.

When I arrived at the building I was directed up to War on Want’s fourth floor offices where another briefing was about to start for those who had missed the first.

About 30 of us heard how we were going to be divided up into four groups. Some of us were to distribute anti-Israel leaflets outside the Barbican’s Waitrose while the others would actually go in and drop the Israeli produce into trolleys and bring the full trolleys to customer services where there would then be a sit-down protest.

Under our coats we would wear the green “Free Palestine” T-shirts handed out to us in the office.

“We are not expecting any kind of aggression towards us but there is always that possibility. If the police do show up we will leave automatically. We will stand up in an orderly fashion and walk out chanting ‘Free Free Palestine’ and we will continue the demonstration outside,” we were told.

We were also introduced to a cameraman and a photographer.

But by then fingers were pointing and I was outed as a “Zionist”.

As I made to leave I was followed down the four flights of stairs by said cameraman and questioned by John Hilary, I believe, WOW’s Chief Exective:

“Who are you from? Why have you come to this place, it wasn’t an open invitation. Just tell me who you are. Who are you?” he kept on while in hot pursuit.

I immediately went to the Waitrose store and told the manager of the imminent invasion. He was grateful but eventually unable to distinguish protesters from normal shoppers.

In the youtube video* of the invasion below John Hilary gives a speech and then presents the manager of Waitrose with a letter having been told that the police had been called.

WOW receives funding from the European Commission and the Department of International Development but in the last six years it has also received £1,687,918 from Comic Relief.

It is of no public concern what private donors give directly to a charity, as many do to War on Want, but it is of great concern when publicly donated funds, that people hope are going to help sick and starving children, are going to a charity that embraces immature supermarket games.

How much of Comic Relief’s money might be helping to finance the aforementioned T-shirts, office space, cameramen and photographers?

Are such student pranks really be an allowable objective for a charity like War on Want?

And why can valuable Metropolitan Police time be wasted so unnecessarily by a charity?

We have had the bankers and the politicians, maybe it’s about time the behaviour of our charities is also questioned and investigated.

*Comments posted to youtube underneath this War On Want video include:

ShaktipatSeer: Stick it to those fascist jews!!

AetherWisp: Did that include all the food we pay a Jewish tax on?

The clip is also on the War on Want website.


14 responses to “War on Want’s War on Israel

  1. How many staffers does WOW have on payroll. What portion of the funds raised are actually used for relief? Under Canadian tax laws, no less than 80% of donations must go directly towards the charity’s charitable purposes as described in its legal charter. T-shirts cost little, but keeping a cotery of paid shit disturbers and issuing propaganda is costly.

  2. richardmillett

    The accounts state no employee earns more than £60,000. Nice work if you can get it.

  3. richardmillett

    As for “relief” and “charitable purposes” the charity commissioners in the UK are unbelievably flexible. That is the problem.

  4. The protestors are calling for a ban on all Israeli goods, not merely settlement ones.

  5. The fact you were ‘outed’ pejoratively as a ‘Zionist’ suggests WOW and/or this campaign is specifically anti-Zionist i.e. anti-Jewish nationalist i.e. anti-the whole process whereby Jews came to be other than a tiny discriminated against minority in the land, and wherefore partition and two states was suggested in the first place.

    In other words, it represents a continuation of the Palestinian Muslim and Christian nationalist war begun against Palestinian Jews from at least by 1947, albeit by other means.

    Hamas is the left hand of the body of which WOW and the BDS movement is the right: Palestinian Muslim and Christian anti-Jewish nationalism.

  6. Note in the video one of the protestors says: “‘Anywhere that says from Israel is basically, is probably from illegal settlements in the West Bank”. Not true, actually. But that “probably” says it all – the truth doesn’t matter for the little helpers of John Hilary (whose track record on these matters is appalling). Congrats Richard as ever for your brave work in outing these bigots.

  7. Zkharya wrote:

    In other words, it represents a continuation of the Palestinian Muslim and Christian nationalist war begun against Palestinian Jews from at least by 1947, albeit by other means.

    Hamas is the left hand of the body of which WOW and the BDS movement is the right: Palestinian Muslim and Christian anti-Jewish nationalism.

    Had he clicked through to the WoW page Richard Millett linked to he would have found there:

    Over 50 activists filled their shopping trolleys and held a sit down protest inside the supermarket. Campaigners also distributed leaflets calling on shoppers to boycott all Israeli goods until Israel complies with international law.

    It’s easy to hate or criticise people when you deliberately misattribute their motives. Seeking to get Israel to comply with International Law is really quite a tame demand and is hardly an expression of “Palestinian Muslim and Christian anti-Jewish nationalism”.

    Perhaps Zkharya feels that anyone who opposes the Occupation and building of settlements in the WB is an “anti-Jewish nationalist” [that should really have been ‘against Jewish nationalism’ or better ‘Israeli nationalism’ but I’m using Zkharya clunky and clumsy term]?

    Well, I’m an anti-Zionist but not opposed to the existence of Israel. I am opposed to the Occupation of the West Bank and the building of Israeli settlement there. Does that make me ‘against Jewish nationalism’? It really takes a stretch to interpret it that way…

    Expansionist Jewish nationalism, yes, I’m opposed to that but then I’m opposed ALL expansionist nationalism…

    It’s also more accurate to speak of Israeli nationalism rather than of ‘Jewish nationalism’: despite the often terrible opprobrium that Jewish campaigners against Israeli expansionism often receive, increasing numbers of Jews worldwide state clearly; ‘not in my name, not in the name of my religion’.

  8. Daniel Marks


    There’s a bloke called King George looking for you at the very excellent Melchett Mike blog. It seems that he also wants to give you a good thrashing. It hardly seems fair.


    Don’t worry, we’re all behind you (no reference to Marc Dutroux intended, I’m sure.)

    Us members of the Mosaic persuasion living in occupied Palestine were naturally quite distraught about the lefty louts causing chaos in an non-kosher supermarket. It has cast a giant shadow over our ability to celebrate Israel’s 62nd Independence Day and questions were raised as whether this year the hall-el should be sung with a blessing or not. At the 6 and 8 o’clock services it was, but at the 7 o’clock Rabbi Katz veered in favor of caution, as is his way in such matters.

    To all our brethren in exile we wish happy barbecues, whether the meat was purchased at Waitrose or elsewhere and may it be His will that we all burn flesh together, next year in Jerusalem!


  9. WOW receives funding from the European Commission and the Department of International Developmen

    Surely if it is a funded organisation it isn’t a charity? I am very suspicious of these “charities” that receive funding like WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth. I avoid these kind of “charities” like the plague.

  10. About that video… I think I’ve fixed it for them.

  11. richardmillett

    This video is just brilliant. Thank you! I have a feeling it’s going to catch on…..

  12. You’re welcome. We need to speak up about these fake charities.

    WoW not only has the Comic Relief money, it’s also had just shy of a quarter of a million pounds each from the government and the EU.

    It’s not charity when you’re a policy instrument of national and supranational governments.

  13. richardmillett

    Absolutely. It is unbelievable that sick and starving children and adults are not getting funds that are quite possibly being used for such student stunts instead. And then there is wasting police time when Waitrose has to call them out. How does the Charity Commission allow all this.

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