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February 20, 2014 9:16 am

Following Scarlett Johansson Furor, Oxfam Threatened With Lawsuit for Providing Aid to Branches of Terror Group

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Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Tel Aviv-based Shurat HaDin Law Center. Photo: Mike Cohen.

Global charity Oxfam has been threatened with criminal and civil lawsuits for funding branches of the internationally designed terror organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center said in a statement on Thursday.

The move comes just weeks after actress Scarlett Johansson ended ties with the charity over a difference of opinion regarding her role as ambassador for the Israeli company SodaStream.

Shurat HaDin, which “represents victims of Palestinian and Islamic terrorism in courtrooms around the world,” demanded Oxfam sever its ties with the Union of Health Workers Committees (UHWC) and the Union of Agricultural Worker’s Committee (UAWC). It said the two agencies of the terror organization “were created by the PFLP” and “operate under the direct patronage and in close cooperation with the PFLP.”

“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,” Shurat HaDin said in a letter sent to Oxfam’s U.K., Dutch, American and Australian branches.

PFLP’s attacks include “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,” Shurat HaDin added.

Citing the Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project United States Supreme Court’s ruling — as well as EU, Dutch, U.K., Israeli, Australian, and United States laws — the group said lending any assistance or support to designated terrorist groups, including agricultural aid, is criminal. Their help renders Oxfam and its officers “criminally and/or civilly liable.”

“This includes liability for past, present and future terrorist attacks carried out by the PFLP,” the group said.

“We request that you immediately provide us written confirmation that Oxfam has discontinued the provision of aid and material support to the UHWC and the UAWC. Absent such confirmation, we will seek all available relief and remedies against Oxfam and its officers in all relevant jurisdictions,” Shurat HaDin warned.

Shurat HaDin’s director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who was described in a recent profile as “the woman who makes the jihadis squirm,” said, “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,” she added. “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.”

Oxfam garnered global attention over the incident with actress Johansson when it criticized her decision to help promote carbonated drinks manufacturer SodaStream because of the company’s West Bank factory. The star explained her decision to cut ties with the charity by citing “a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”

Asked if the lawsuit threat was prompted by the incident with Johansson, Darshan-Leitner told The Algemeiner that while “the SJ incident certainly put Oxfam in the news,” her organization is “always trying to track the funds going to terror groups and their front charities and instrumentalities.”

Darshan-Leitner didn’t say how much Oxfam could potentially be sued for, but her center has won hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments.

The specific terror victims she represents include those “from a suicide bombing at Karnei Shomron pizza place, where two American girls got killed and many other injured. It was carried out by the PFLP,” she said.

“But these will not be the ones to sue due to statue of limitation,” she added. “Other potential victims who can sue are the Fogel family victims (but they are not represented by us yet).”

Darshan-Leitner said that she has not yet received a reply from Oxfam. Matt Grainger, head of media at Oxfam International in London, did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner‘s request for comment.

In an interview with The Algemeiner last month, Anne Herzberg of watchdog NGO Monitor criticized Oxfam for aligning itself with the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. “The fact that Oxfam would align themselves with that movement is highly disturbing and shocking,” she said at the time.

NGO Monitor says on its website, “Oxfam consistently paints a highly misleading picture of the Arab-Israeli conflict, departing from its humanitarian mission focused on poverty.” It also accuses the charity of demonizing Israel.

In 2003, Oxfam-Belgium produced a poster of an “Israeli orange” dripping with blood to promote anti-Israel boycotts. The caption read “Israeli fruits have a bitter taste… reject the occupation of Palestine, don’t buy Israeli fruits and vegetables.” Following protests over what NGO Monitor called “antisemitic ‘blood libel’ overtones,” Oxfam withdrew the campaign.

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  • Luigi Rosolin (@LuigiBelmont)

    As a supporter of Oxfam in Australia I had email to the American org on the 3 of February. Not replay given, I will contact my AU one and see what will said in regard.I know that this organization is helping many poor people and work in many country where government are abusing minority or citizen. Hope that I will receive a least from the Australia one a positive answer. Probably here they don’t know of what the issue is or participate. From they replay I will decide my future involvement with Oxfam.Hope that Oxfam recognize the wrong doing and take action immediately cleaning the organization from political activist and focus on helping the poor with out take part with extremist especially Islamic that are killing thousand of Christian and Jews.

  • jl borges

    nitzana just may be the greatest hero in all of recorded jewish history since the time of the romans and rabbi aqiba !!!

  • Harvey

    I have no doubt Shurat will go for the jugular on this one provided they have a good chance of success . Further up Julian laments all the funding a court case will require which could be used for humanitarian relief purposes . Well Julian , charity begins at home and a successful action might well recompense the Israeli families of the victims of Palestinian terror funded through your proxies . Incidentally , I understand Her Majesty’s Government is examining the practices of some 20 mainstream charities mainly questioning tax exempt status which has been drawn into doubt where said charities have become politicised .
    Is Oxfam one of those companies ? Meanwhile one can almost hear the sound of shredders in offices across the continent . That and deleted emails ( recoverable )
    Good luck with all that Oxfam . It looks like Soda Stream is the least of your concerns .

  • tuv

    It is truly heartening that so many people see Oxfam for what it truly is and stands for ; an anti-Semitic pro terrorist organisation

  • Is it possible to get leaflets printed for distribution at Oxfam charity shops? I would love to tell the people who donate their hard-earned cash exactly where it is going.

  • Julian Clovelly

    I find it difficult to regard this article as balanced, in that no right of reply would appear to have been granted Oxfam in relation to its content. In particular however I find the manner in which Oxfam’s activities are portrayed offensive especially the manner in which its activities in the areas in question are treated as conspiratorial and almost clandestine

    Perhaps the Oxfam UK website is the best to use as an internal starting point for examining their point of view. Oxfam is deliberately open in its activities, publishing its policies in documents made publicly available, and inviting criticism of particular operations and independent input of information

    Oxfam’s attitude to the settlement questions is readily available in pdf form – and one rather feels that the error in this article is that it is presenting a factional view rather than presenting impartial news reporting. That Oxfam – in accordance with multitudes of international bodies – is opposed to settlements, is publicly stated, and open to debate

    Oxfam also openly states its policy in relation to working with exterior organisations, especially those on the ground in geographical areas of interest because of their need for relief and aid – for example in providing food, water and sanitation.

    Impartiality demands right of reply, and demands that when attacking an organisation such as Oxfam its overall activity – which is on a vast scale – be examined, along with a critique of general or particular policy

    Oxfam is in the business of saving lives – whatever the flag they have to work under. Oxfam has been part of our lives since its early wartime days days as The Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, operating in accordance with the founding principle “the relief of suffering as a result of wars or of other causes in any part of the world.”

    In this article the issue of the settlements has become confused with questions related to Oxfam’s relief operations. The first need for unbiased journalism is to separate the two issues, rather than confuse them. I agree they should be debated as separate issues. But I don’t feel the writer is actually seeking that

    I wish the world did not need organisations such as Oxfam or Medicins Sans Frontieres. I wish that no one regarded themselves as special or more worthy before G-d, and that we all learnt compassion and sharing, and found our greatest joy in our love for each other as part of the same, equal, human family. I believe that that is the pathway towards greater spiritual and psychological human development.

    But I fear the world is not yet ready to be ruled by genuine brotherhood, sisterhood, compassion, and love. Organisations such as Oxfam – using contributions from the generous, concerned, and compassionate can only do their best – maintaining a willingness to be open and to accept criticism. I find this articles attack on them very sad, and frankly unworthy of Algemeiner’s usually far higher journalistic standards.

    The article treats Oxfam as if it were not aware of the history of suffering that underlies so much of the past of people such as many Israelis

    I beg to remind readers that it came into existence because of it’s awareness of suffering during the Second World War. The immediate and long term relief of suffering is what it has always been about, as its staff and volunteers pick their way through scenes of desolation, devastation, famine, and carnage

    • Efram

      Beautiful dissembling. In case you can read, Oxfam has NOT RESPONDED to requests for comment. It is right in the article. And apologies for an organization with a track record of bias and bigotry is never acceptable. Would you advocate for an Israeli group which promotes peace and help for the poor?

    • Beep

      A lovely screed Julian. Too bad it doesn’t address the issue at hand. Oxfam is free to reply to the allegations in any way they choose. I notice they didn’t give SJ any official right of reply.
      Directly supporting terrorists and the illegal and immoral BDS movement is not compassionate or loving or anywhere near “the pathway towards greater spiritual and psychological human development.”
      I would suspect you wouldn’t be so shrill if you weren’t afraid that the “allegations” can easily be proven in court. You should be looking forward to being able to have your day in court, but are clearly dismayed by the probability that you will be forced to give money to the victims of terrorism rather than the terrorists.

      • Julian Clovelly

        I am interested in the concept, in Beeps reply to my post, of Oxfam being penalised as a result of court action. The aim seems here rather to extract money donated for suffering relief worldwide – a claim effectively made by those who have, against those who have nothing. The end effect of a successful litigation might be for example the loss of fresh water wells in another area entirely, unnecessary innocent deaths. Does anyone really seek to attach their name to that?

        I am criticising in my post the apparently deliberate confusion of two issues – the issue of the existence per se of settlements that have been condemned, together with many of their activities, by a large body of international opinion and law – and the unrelated issue of the right of the State of Israel to exist in a state of peace, and the absence of threat.

        Politely, I think Israel should be very grateful that outside of Israel the two issues aren’t confused. Many of Israel’s friends recognise that the present situation was caused by the confusion inherent in the aftermath of the most appalling war in world history, and the world most horrifying genocide, and in generations of bungled and often malicious foreign policies.

        I recognise that there is no revisiting that period, that we must confront present problems rather than try to alter the decisions of another era. We all need to do that to grant a proper future to all of the children of the region

        Israel is not the issue being questioned, the settlement are. That the settlement policy should cause such confusion is for Israel itself to reflect on. No doubt it does. Oxfam is for the most part an association of unpaid volunteers – treating it as a propaganda power block is ridiculous however much one may – including within its own principles, policies, and assumptions – see reason to rightly raise such questions.

        As a person fully ready to consider the question of the settlements in similar light to that of Israel’s foundation, I find that articles such as the present one, and the attacks on Oxfam, to be powerful arguments against the very items the article seems to seek to justify. I’m actually doing nothing more than letting you know.

        Is there anyone in this entire mess who doesn’t claim G-d gave this land to them, anyone genuinely prepared to make sacrifices to reach a compromise that works? Sometimes I wonder

        • Abu

          Even though settlements are condemned by many, I fail to see the logic, unless a future Palestinian state is expected to be wiped of Jews. Is it perhaps because the freedom and equal rights that Arabs enjoy in Israel will not be expected to be given to Jews in a future Palestinian state? A Palestinian state that has been offered and rejected on many occasions, moreover. Why the double standard?
          In spite of your ‘polite’ diatribe, you do very much question the right of Israel’s existence because you regret its creation. As if its existence is owed to the oh so merciful people who felt sorry for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The Jews have lived continually in the land of Israel since ancient times, their culture and history is inextricably linked to the land and the right of the Jews to its homeland was recognized by the Balfour Declaration before the Holocaust. Are you aware that Arabs have been involved with Israel in several major existential wars, in all of which they were decisively defeated. Nobody questions that if results had been reversed in any of these encounters, Israel would indeed have ceased to exist and most of its inhabitants killed. Just as all the Jews were killed or forced out by Jordan in the so-called ‘occupied territories’ after the war of independence (so of course, it rightfully now belongs to the Arabs?) Do not begin to pretend that your double standard is not indeed a double standard.

          • Lynne T

            ‘sat you, Abu Faris, of Harry’s Place fame?

            Thanks for the able dissection, regardless.

          • June Grant

            Abu, well said.

          • Julian Clovelly

            I do not question the right of Israel to exist precisely because I do not think its rightful existence is dependent upon a particular interpretation of history. Nor do I see its existence as motivated by the appalling genocides of the Second World War. Justification through the use of history only leads to confusion, caused by the existence of diametrically opposed interpretation, often stemming from divergent religions and ideologies. All that is highlighted in the end is the reality that when considered as science, or used in isolation for legal political or military justification, history is an imperfect tool.

            In my English culture the first world war poet Owen said what I most feel, in his poem Strange Meeting, written in 1918 as Europe and the near and middle East collapsed into chaos:

            “I mean the truth untold,
            The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
            Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
            Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.”

            No-one of the present generations is to blame for the situation we have all been born into. Our aim, I believe, should be to acknowledge the role past tragedy has in bringing us to where we find ourselves – but to work from the situation as it currently is. In this Israel is an unquestionable reality – the homeland to children born long after the conflicts of the past. We do not need to argue about history. We need to learn how to live together. That learning process begins when we seek consensus rather than conflict, working to wind back the elements of our consciousness that seek difference rather than similarity.

            I see the settlements as emphasising differences between members of the human race that are entirely cultural and imaginary. It is not so much the people within them that is the problem but the architecture itself – buildings that have been erected in the wrong place. To me it is that simple – a location error.

        • Monty Pogoda

          Why is it that people think the settlements are illegal? In 1967 we were attacked by Nasser [Egypt], Assads father [Syria] and Hussein [Jordan]. With G-D’s help we won the war but lost many soldiers.If one looks at the map of Israel the so called West Bank not only cuts Israel in half, it is all high land from where one can see the whole coast line. We could be bombed from where our “illegal settlements” are situated. When we gave up the Gaza strip that’s exactly what happened – We’ve had over 4000 rocket attacks since then. And last but certainly not least – we were promised by G-D in the old testament that the land would be ours. A promise kept. Which country in their right senses would give up land that they can be attacked from whenever terrorists feel like it and for every lawyer international or otherwise who says “illegal” I’ll find you two who’ll say “legal”.

        • Alan

          The settlements are not the issue. The two state solution is the issue. If the Arabs wanted peace then they would sit down and work out the details themselves. It is evident that the Arabs don’t want peace, they want the destruction of Israel.

    • G. Joris

      In Belgium Oxfam is always anti-Israël they even indoctrinate young children to hate!!! This is for more then 30 years no more a humanitarian organisation but a political movement. There goal is not pro-Palestinian but anti-Israëli. Don’t let one of there members enter Israël. Or even better put those opportunists in jail.

    • Sonia Willats

      “In this article the issue of the settlements has become confused with questions related to Oxfam’s relief operations” – The reason that the issue of settlements has become “confused” with their relief operations is because the leadership of Oxfam has clearly confused ITS ORIGINAL AND STATED MANDATE OF GENUINELY HELPING and now exercises an unhealthy and aggressively biased agenda against the state of Israel. No doubt they are of the same constituency as the “do-gooders” in the Presbyterian Church who likewise seek to victimise Israel. These people always act on a grain of information and run with the politically-correct crowd. Ask yourself, Julian, for one moment, whether Israel receives fair treatment at the UN, or on the world stage in general.

      OXFAM needs to return to its original stated aims.

      • esther noodelman


    • Sarah

      “Darshan-Leitner said that she has not yet received a reply from Oxfam. Matt Grainger, head of media at Oxfam International in London, did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.” So not only s Oxfam been given the right to comment in the media, it has not yet responded to Shurat Ha-Din’s letter. There is nothing clandestine or conspiratorial in describing “a poster of an “Israeli orange” dripping with blood to promote anti-Israel boycotts. The caption read “Israeli fruits have a bitter taste… reject the occupation of Palestine, don’t buy Israeli fruits and vegetables” — a piece of verifiable fact, as well as Oxfam’s connections with the PLFP or that organization’s slaughter of civilians. I suspect you are simply upset at discovering that Oxfam’s “halo” is so tarnished.

    • Monty Pogoda

      Oxfam is openly anti semitic. Kudos to Darshan-Leitner. If there is a case I hope she wins and I’m sure the money will be used to help both Arabs and Israelis.

    • we all know the reason for the oxfam organisation. but lately it is losing track of it’s direction. it’s become more of “the way to hell is paved with good intentions.” by supporting terror organisations, it condones publicly that they approve of the dastardly deeds they do. also a lot of the finance involved, does not reach the people that really need it. it goes into the terror coffers.take a moment to think about it.

    • Andy Gill

      “Oxfam is in the business of saving lives”

      Then why did they insist Scarlet Johassen drop her association with SodaStream? How many lives did that save?

      Fact is, Oxfam has been an anti-Zionist organization for as long as I can remember. Which is why I never donate.

    • Tamar

      OXFAM is a phony “humanitarian” organization. To defend an organization that funnels money to TERRORISTS and that calls for a “Boycott of Israeli good” which only HURTS the so-called “oppressed peoples” is not just NAIVE, but also ANTISEMITIC and PRO-TERRORIST. Let’s stick to the REAL humanitarian efforts such as the Israeli’s immediate aide to the people of HURRICANE KATRINA, TYPHOON HIYAN in the PHILIPPINES and help the SYRIAN REFUGEES.

  • gonjtonic

    hussle legally the $%^&*(wrack their personal lives, place them in constant dire straits,) every morning they wake up, they should curse the day they decided to be partners with the terrorists. And every night they go to sleep they should dread the arriving of the next morning.

  • M.A. Kinamohn

    Sue them and take no prisoners!

  • Daniel Zaretsky

    I am an American Jew who works in Tajikistan. I knew the previous Oxfam Country Director for Tajikistan, a smarmy Brit. He told me that he didn’t care if Israeli Jews were completely wiped out and that the 1 million Jews kicked out of Muslim lands didn’t count and didn’t matter. This ideology affects all of this wretched organization.

    • Dorothy Seidel Wigod

      Hi Daniel,
      Thank you for confirming my long-held suspicions about Oxfam. Good luck in all your endeavors.

    • Anglojew

      Could we get more information about this and his identity?

      Have you lodged a formal complaint with Oxfam?

      I’ve encountered similar beliefs from Amnesty International members.

    • Sonia Willats


    • in the 1970’s a Jewish charity worker representing a Jewish organisation in India was attacked and forced out of India and then detail of the assault was suppressed in the West until Jewish organisations made formal complaint to India which, at the time was very pro-Palestinian. But because it was two British ‘Christian’ organisations that had carried out the assault (they could use ‘local activists’ to ‘kill the Jew’ if he did not leave) it did create a scandal in India. But given the money that was / is thrown around by such organisations I very much doubt the situation has changed in the almost 1/2 century since this incident occurred. Oxfam ‘assistance’ like other Western anti-Zionist organisations is based on lies and dissimulation. It is the only way they can safely operate in Muslim countries. They are and will always be anti-semitic.

    • James Crozier

      Many of the NGO’s that rose up in the West after WWII have been subject to infiltration by people politically motivated, that see NGO’s (especially that operate internationally), as an easy exercise in subversion that leaves them operating behind legitimate fronts.
      Oxfam or Amnesty International are just two of many over the years.
      It is not the organizations but the individuals who are in charge that cause this harm.

      • James Crozier

        Investigate the individual people.

  • Loti

    Gooo Nitzana!!!

  • jonathan

    Oxfam should simply admit that it is an anti Israel organisation and is a proxy organisation for the Palestinians. At least they can then come out into the open and admit what their true objectives are

    • E Pluribus Wombat

      I think everyone understands that to be the case. This however is different. This is actively aiding a terrorist organization that currently murders and maims Israelis. At the very least they including all staff personally, should be banned from Israel forever, and any and all funds which have flowed to them from inside Israel should be clawed back in a class action suit.

    • Arie

      Oxfam should come out of the closet and admit it it AntiJewish, not just anti-Israeli

  • Feather

    I believe it was a jewish lawyer in the Deep South of the USA ( whoes name I unfortunately can’t remember) who first used this tactic against the KKL .he realised that criminal prosecutions were pointless as no southern jury would convict one of their own so he began civil lawsuits for damages for death assault etc and effectively bankrupted them ie the KKL . Great stuff .

    • Rob

      Morris Dees, Southern Poverty Law Center.

      • drbob1

        Rob is right. I had the wrong Moshe!!!!
        I apologize. Abrams was a great Jewish attorney and professor who worked with Southern black groups. My error. Thanks, Rob!

      • Wallace Edward Brand, JD Harvard, 1957

        The Southern Poverty Law Center is now demonizing Israel and is now best knows for collecting donations that keep mounting up. It formerly did good work.

        • Debra Michels

          Gee – I have been donating to SPLC since forever – are you absolutely sure they demonize Israel these days? How can I check that out? Please let me know –

          Thanks –

      • Jill Maleson

        Morris Dees is not Jewish. He is an amazing man. Born and raised in the South but not taught to think himself better than a black kid. Spends his adult career fighting racism through the courts.

      • Lynne T

        That is exactly who taught Nitsana Darshan-Leitner how to pursue scum.

    • drbob1

      Morris Abrams comes to mind.

    • Norman Shapiro

      I think you mean the KKK (Klu KLux Klan), not KKL (Keren Kayemet L’Yisroel)

    • dante benedetti

      not the “KKL,” but the “KKK.” and, the attorney, so far as I am aware, is not Jewish.

  • Heck, sue right now. You could always drop it. They like oranges squeezed as a symbol? Squeeze them.

  • Emanuel

    Great work, they deserve no mercy, any Palestinian is more noble than those scum.

    • Efram


  • Lynne T