Britain's leading Jewish newspaper, The Jewish Chronicle, issued an apology recently to Human Appeal International, a British charity with a number of worldwide affiliated branches, all particularly active in the Palestinian territories.
The apology was issued after Human Appeal objected to an article published in The Jewish Chronicle in February 2012. The newspaper claimed Human Appeal was "linked to Hamas" and was on the "US State Department's list of charities connected to terrorism."
The mistake was mentioning the US State department. Human Appeal has never been officially designated as a supporter of terrorism, although a number of US government institutions have referred to Human Appeal as a supporter of terror.
A lengthy dispute led the Jewish Chronicle to "apologise unreservedly to Human Appeal International and to those individuals who are involved in its operation." Further, the Jewish newspaper "paid sums in damages … as an indication of our regret."
So what sort of organization has this Jewish newspaper just given money to?
A leaked 1996 CIA report claimed Human Appeal International's branches were among a number of Islamic charities used as conduits for funds to terrorist organizations. The FBI, in 2003, claimed there was a "close relationship between Human Appeal International and Hamas".
In August 2002, an Islamic youth group featured an advertisement for a Hamas fundraising scheme, called the "101 Days Campaign". The youth group claimed profits from the sale of intifada videotapes would go to the campaign through Human Appeal International.
In 2005, a website belonging to the Palestinian terror group Hamas reported that funds were transferred from Human Appeal's affiliated organization in the UAE to IQRA and Rifdah, two Hamas front organizations based in the West Bank.
In 2004, documents obtained from the Internal Revenue Service by Senator Charles Grassley revealed that the IRS considered Human Appeal to be one of a number of charities "which finance terrorism and perpetuate violence."
Further, leaked State Department cables also reveal that staff from the Human Appeal UAE branch were funding terror groups, and that, "In 2003, there were indications that HAI was sending financial support to organizations associated with Hamas and that members of its field offices in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Chechnya had connections to al-Qaeda associates."
In 2008, the Israeli Government proscribed a number of Human Appeal's affiliated international branches as "bodies that are active abroad and which are responsible for raising very large sums for Hamas activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip."
Despite the considerable number of accusations, however, there is not enough evidence to prove Human Appeal International is actually financing Hamas. It is clear, however, from the Human Appeal's own published activities, that the charity is supportive of Hamas in other ways.
In July 2011, Human Appeal International was one of a number of charities honoured at a Hamas ceremony in Gaza.
Human Appeal's logo is sixth from right.
Also in July 2011, Human Appeal hosted, along with the Palestinian Forum of Britain, an event with a number of radical hate preachers and Hamas supporters.
The Palestinian Forum of Britain is one of the UK's leading pro-Hamas organization, whose spokesman is Zaher Al-Birawi, a man closely connected to the Hamas leadership.
In Gaza: Zaher Al-Birawi (fourth from the left) with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to his right.
One speaker at Human Appeal's 2011 event was Raed Saleh, a prominent supporter of Hamas, known for his anti-Semitic and anti-homosexual views. Saleh has claimed that 4000 Jews skipped work at the World Trade Centre on 9/11, those who killed the "Martyr, Sheikh Osama Bin Laden" had "sold their consciences to Satan", and that the honour killing of girls is acceptable.
One of Saleh's poems includes the lines:
You Jews are criminal bombers of mosques,
Slaughterers of pregnant women and babies.
Robbers and germs in all times,
The Creator sentenced you to be loser monkeys,
Victory belongs to Muslims, from the Nile to the Euphrates.
Saleh is best known for his frequent invocation of the 'blood libel' -- an ancient anti-Semitic claim that Jews kill children to use their blood to make matzah at Passover. Even a British court concluded that Saleh's comments were hateful of Jews.
Saleh was joined at the Human Appeal event by Ahmad Noufal (also spelled 'Nawfal'), a prominent figure in the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood who was "directly involved in sponsoring and organizing Hamas terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians." In 2005, Noufal endorsed the French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy on Saudi television:
Roger Garaudy said: "If we take the number of gas chambers and the maximal daily capacity of an oven, and multiply them by the period you Zionists, claim the Holocaust lasted – even if we multiply the number of ovens by the maximal [capacity], the figure is grossly exaggerated. The number of those burned [sic] was 600,000. You added another zero, and turned it into six million."
In December 2011, Human Appeal hosted an event which featured the hate preacher Haitham al-Haddad as a guest speaker. Al-Haddad regards Jews as "enemies of god, and the descendants of apes and pigs", and disregards any form of peace until "Allah's law [will] govern the whole earth, and for no other law to remain." Haddad deems homosexuality a crime and supports the subjugation of women, telling them: "you must obey [your husband]."
Haddad claims that the West only opposes Hamas because "there is a high level of enmity and hatred against Hamas as a Muslim group".
The hate preacher Zahir Mahmood also spoke alongside Haddad. Mahmood has stated that, "Hamas are not terrorists, they're freedom fighters".
Human Appeal International is an extreme Islamist organization that promotes pro-terror and anti-Semitic ideas. Although it may ultimately support the destruction of democracy, Human Appeal seems more than happy to use democratic means, such as the courts, to silence its critics.