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Israeli Demands Astonishing Says FoA Chairman

July 1, 2012

Monday, January 16. 2006

Israeli Demands Astonishing Says FoA Chairman

PRESS RELEASE

15th January 2005

The chairman of Friends of Al-Aqsa has today called for a clarification from the government over reports that a treasury minister, Ivan Lewis is to meet with the Israeli Ambassador for Urgent talks over the British Charity Interpal.

Speaking in London, Ismail Patel expressed his astonishment that the representative of a foreign government could demand that action be taken against a charity already cleared of any wrong doing by the British authorities and to which the Board of Deputies of British Jews apologised just last month over a terrorist organisation slur.

The fact that Mr Lewis is also a senior member of Labour Friends of Israel gives rise to an additional query over a potential conflict of interest over this issue.

One of the stated aims of the Board of Deputies is to advance Israels security, welfare and standing, said Mr Patel, and yet they felt it necessary to apologise to Interpal for calling it a terrorist organisation. Why should one of our ministers of state entertain pressure of any kind from a foreign country over a charity that our Charities Commission has found to be operating within English law and the guidance set down for good governance of charitable bodies.

Mr Patel said he believed this to be a politically motivated move by the Israelis to apply undue pressure where evidence of any wrong doing simply does not exist. Independent observers have reported that the pressure on charities working for the poor and needy in Occupied Palestine appear to be part of a deliberate policy to make life even more intolerable for people affected by Israels illegal military occupation. Our government must not bend to serve the political interests of a foreign country, he added.

ACTION:

FoA urges everyone to contact Mr Ivan Lewis MP and request that he should not succumb to the demands of the Israeli Ambassador on this issue.

Email: ivanlewis@burysouth.fsnet.co.uk

Phone number: 0161 773 5500
Fax number: 0161 773 7959

Address of Constituency Office:
381 Bury New Rd
Prestwich
Manchester M25 3AJ

For further comments, please call Ismail Patel on 07711 823524 or
email info@aqsa.org.uk

Friends of Al Aqsa is a voluntary organisation concerned with the defence of
Al Aqsa Haram Sharif and the protection of Palestinian Human Rights.
http://www.aqsa.org.uk
Contact:
P.O. Box 5127, Leicester. LE2 0WU. England.
Tel 077 11 823 524
Fax ++ 44 [116] 253 7575

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