Monthly Archives: August 2013

More questions for Stewardship Services over CFOIC

The Israeli settlement of Kochav Yaakov, situated in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The Israeli settlement of Kochav Yaakov, situated in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Stewardship Services is a UK registered charity which “receives donations from individuals and organisations to be passed to third party charities and charitable projects as requested by the donor.” Corporate Watch has sent a series of open letters to Stewardship making it aware that in our opinion its collection of donations for a project in a settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories make it complicit in settlement expansion.

Stewardship collects donations for a project run by Christian Friends of Israeli Communities Heartland (CFOIC) in Kochav Yaakov. CFOIC, which is not a UK registered charity, was set up in response to the Oslo Accords to support Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. Stewardship states that these donations are solely for a CFOIC project providing hot lunches to children in the settlement. However, we maintain that to support CFOIC is to give tacit support to Israel’s colonisation policies.

On the 16th of August 2013 Stewardship Services issued a press release with the title “In response to queries concerning Christian Friends of Israeli Communities Heartland”. The press release related to concerns raised in Corporate Watch’s open letter to Stewardship Services regarding its involvement with CFOIC. Stewardship’s press release was not sent to Corporate Watch, but to others who contacted the charity after reading the article, and was published on the Stewardship Services website.

Stewardship states that it “is a non-political charitable organisation with the sole intention of offering support to generous donors who seek to address suffering and poverty throughout the world”. Corporate Watch has previously published a public response to Stewardship’s claim that collecting money on behalf of CFOIC is non-political and so we will not go in to that any further here. However, there are a few more questions arising out of the press release which Corporate Watch would be grateful if Stewardship would provide answers to

Again, we call on Stewardship Services to end its relationship with CFOIC. If you are concerned about the way in which Stewardship willingly facilitates the funding of this project in an Israeli settlement why not write a complaint.

Continue reading

G4S hires new spin-doctor

g4s

G4S has hired city PR firm RLM Finsbury, in a bid to salvage its reputation. RLM Finsbury’s clients have included dozens of FTSE 100 firms and Britain’s richest man, Uzbek-born billionaire Alisher Usmanov. The company’s founder, Roland Rudd, was voted the “City’s most influential public relations executive” three years running. G4S provide equipment and services to Israeli prisons where Palestinians are held in violation of international law. Continue reading

G4S rooftop demonstrators acquitted

Two campaigners who staged an eight-hour rooftop occupation at the headquarters of controversial security company G4S were acquitted of aggravated trespass by a district judge (DJ) at Horsham Magistrates Court on Wednesday 21 August. Continue reading

UK charity admits collecting money for project in illegal Israeli settlement

Construction underway in the Israeli settlement of Modi'in Illit, photo taken by Corporate Watch researchers, 2010

Construction under way in the Israeli settlement of Modi’in Illit, photo taken by Corporate Watch researchers, 2010

Stewardship Services, a UK registered charity has admitted collecting funds for a project in the illegal Israeli settlement of Kochav Yaakov. Stewardship has collected the funds on behalf of another charity, Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC). These funds, according to Stewardship, go solely to a project in Kochav Yaakov.

On 2 August Corporate Watch wrote an open letter to Stewardship Services urging the charity to end its support for Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, which, in our opinion, contributes to settlement expansion. We received a brief response from Frances Miles, Head of ‘Giving Services’ at Stewardship, confirming that the money collected for CFOIC goes exclusively to Kochav Yaakov, an Israeli settlement of around 6000 people located just East of Ramallah and Al Bireh in the occupied West Bank. Corporate Watch’s response to Stewardship’s reply can be read below Miles’ email.

If you are concerned about the way in which Stewardship willingly facilitates the funding of this project in an Israeli settlement why not write a complaint. Continue reading

Ford vehicles adapted and used for internal repression by Israel

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An IOF ‘skunk van’ attacking demonstrators in the occupied West Bank village An Nabi Saleh, Photograph taken by Corporate Watch researchers on 11 January 2013

On 11 January 2013 Corporate Watch witnessed Ford vehicles, fitted with Good Year tyres, being used to repress demonstrations in the occupied West Bank. As Who Profits? has previously reported Ford vehicles are used by the Israeli Occupation Forces’s (IOF) Caracal combat unit and Ford F550 trucks have been adapted by the Israeli company Hatehof into armoured personnel carriers for use by the IOF. Hatehof is majority owned by the owner of the Solor Group, a company which partly operates out of the infamous settlement industrial zone Nitzanei Shalom in Tulkarem.

Some of the Israeli police forces operating in An Nabi Saleh on the same date were also using Ford vehicles. Continue reading

Join Corporate Occupation at the Earth First Summer Gathering

On Thursday the 8th of August 2013 we will be holding two workshops at the EARTH FIRST SUMMER GATHERING.

12 noon: Challenging Schedule 7: Come and learn more about how the police are using anti terrorism legislation as a snooping tool, and as an excuse to question activists under the threat of arrest.  The workshop will also be a space for everyone to discuss strategies to challenge this.

14.30pm Arad – Supplying water meters to Sussex while bleeding Palestine dry: Arad is an Israeli water company that provides services to Israeli settlements, and to the Israeli national water company that denies Palestinian communities access to water. The company has a contract with Southern Water to provide water meters to Sussex. Come and find out about the local campaign to stop the contract.

Open letter to Stewardship Services: Don’t facilitate funding for project in illegal Israeli settlement

Corporate Watch has sent the following letter to UK charity Stewardship Services to encourage it to end its support for Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, a charity which operates extensively in settlements in the West Bank. We need you to contact Stewardship Services too. If you want more information about CFOIC, read our previous articles about the organisation ‘Charity’ and Ethnic Cleansing: Christian Friends of Israeli Communities and British organisation ends relationship with charity supporting Israeli settlements

Stewardship Services can be contacted at:

Stewardship
PO Box 99
Loughton
Essex
IG10 3QJ

Email: enquiries@stewardship.org.uk

Tel: 020 8502 5600

Twitter: @stewardshipnews

Facebook: www.facebook.com/stewardship

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Christian Friends of Israeli Communities supported land grab close to the illegal settlement of Maskiot in the occupied Jordan Valley.

Dear Stewardship Services,

It has come to our attention that UK donations to the organisation Christian Friends of Israeli Communities Heartland are currently collected by Stewardship Services. We are writing to you to encourage you to end your links with this organisation because of its involvement with Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

As you will know, Israel’s settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law and this is also the British Government’s position. Continued settlement expansion facilitates the rapid ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from certain areas if the Occupied Territories and is, in the words of the foreign office ‘an obstacle to peace’. Christian Friends of Israeli Communities is actively encouraging settlement expansion and funds numerous settlement projects. In fact, it does not recognise the West Bank, referring to the area only as ‘Judea and Samaria’. The charity has funded projects in, for example, the illegal settlements Maskiot, Argaman, Susiya, Na’ama and Kfar Adumim -all close to vulnerable Palestinian communities trying to survive under occupation.

In 2012 World Action Ministries, the organisation which was previously collecting CFOIC’s donations in the UK, confirmed to Corporate Watch that it had ceased its relationship with the charity after being notified of its operations on occupied territory as the knowledge “made [them] feel very uncomfortable bearing in mind the advice being given by the United Nations and other bodies at the time.”

Since WAM dropped CFOIC international bodies have issued even stronger guidelines about the funding of Israel’s settlements. Only two weeks ago the European Union published new rules which will bar Israeli organisations, groups and companies from receiving EU funding if they are based on Palestinian territory occupied by Israel.

Christian Friends of Israeli Communities strongly supports the settlement project and encourages settlement expansion. In a response to Corporate Watch CFOIC’s Sondra Oster Baras stated that “CFOIC Heartland has from its very inception publicly supported the communities and people of Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank]. CFOIC Heartland has never hidden the fact that funds go to communities beyond Israel’s 67 borders.”

World Action Ministries has realised that the tide is turning when it comes to Israel’s illegal settlements. It is time for Stewardship Services to be on the rights side of history – drop your relationship with Christian Friends of Israeli Communities Heartland.

Regards, Corporate Watch

UPDATE 16/08/2013 – Corporate Watch has received the following response from Stewardship:

“Dear Corporate Watch

Thank you for your open letter explaining your concerns on Christian Friends of Israeli Communities. We are aware that the region evokes complex political and theological views. We do not hold a position on political issues in this or any region. Our primary goal remains the Advancement of the Christian faith. Our charitable objectives also allow us to support the relief of poverty. Our agreement with CFIOC [sic] on use of funds is that they will be used solely in the provision of a hot lunch for children in Kochav Yaakov whose parents cannot afford to do so. We will continue to monitor the use of our funds to see that they are used for this purpose and meet the advice from regulators, such as the Charity Commission. As part of our on-going monitoring we are reviewing advice given by UK government and Charity regulators to charities working in the region.

Regards Frances Miles Head of Giving Services, Stewardship”

To read Corporate Watch’s further response click here