(Tel Aviv) An Israeli civil rights group, Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, has demanded that the international aid organization Oxfam severe its ties with the Union of Health Workers Committees (“UHWC”) and the Union of Agricultural Worker’s Committee (“UAWC”), two agencies of the proscribed terror organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Oxfam lists both of the agencies as its partners whom it works with in Hamas controlled Gaza and the Palestinian Authority. In a letter sent today, Shurat HaDun warned Oxfam that providing financial assistance and other forms of material support to affiliates of the terrorist PFLP is illegal and would subject the NGO to both criminal and civil liability.
The Shurat HaDin letter, sent to Oxfam’s UK, Dutch, American and Australian branches, demands written confirmation that the NGO permanently discontinue providing financial aid and other material support to the UHWC and the UAWC.
The letter was sent by Shurat HaDin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. For a copy of the letter click: http://www.scribd.com/doc/208113203/Letter-to-Oxfam-2-20-14
Oxfam recently made world headlines when it criticized actress Scarlett Johansson’s involvement with the Israeli company, SodaStream. Johansson, who had been serving as a goodwill ambassador for Oxfam, refused to endorse the NGO’s policy of boycotting Israeli firms and resigned her position.
According to Shurat HaDin, the UHWC and the UAWC are the PFLP’s health and agricultural organizations respectively and they are instrumentalities of the terrorist group. The PFLP has been designated as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” by the European Union, the United States, Israel and Australian Governments. It is illegal for any individual or organization to financially support or make assets available to designated terrorist organizations, including to their agencies and instrumentalities.
As the letter states, “The PFLP is one of the most violent and dangerous of the Palestinian terrorist organizations having carried out decades of murderous operations against civilian targets including airplane hijackings, the massacre at Ben Gurion Airport in 1972, intifada suicide bombings, the assassination of an Israeli minister and the murder of a Jewish family, including three infant children in the Itamar community in March 2011. The PFLP is responsible for the criminal deaths of Israeli, American and European victims around the world. Several of its leaders are currently serving life sentences in Israeli prisons for their involvement in heinous terrorist attacks.”
According to Shurat HaDin, the law is strict when it comes to aiding and abetting terrorism, citing the United States Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the case of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U.S.1, 130 S.Ct. 2705 (2010), which found that providing any assistance or support to terrorists, including putatively benign forms of assistance (such as health and agricultural aid) is criminal.
As such, the provision of aid to the UHWC and the UAWC, which ultimately inures to the benefit and interests of the PLFP would constitute the type of seemingly innocuous material support that would render organizations criminally and civilly liable. This includes liability for terrorist attacks carried out by the PLFP against Israeli, European, American and civilians of other nationalities.
According to attorney Darshan-Leitner: “While Oxfam accuses Israel of war crimes, they themselves have partnered and financially supported a designated Palestinian terrorist organization. Any money given to a terrorist organization, including its instrumentalities, advances its ability to carry out murderous attacks. Oxfam claims to care about human rights in Gaza but doesn’t seem to care as much about the victims of the PFLP terrorist, including the lives of the Fogel family children who were massacred in their sleep.
Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center (http://israellawcenter.org/) is an international human rights law organization dedicated to enforcing basic human rights through the legal system and representing victims of terrorism in courtrooms around the world.