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KKL-JNF Scotland under Investigation

Earlier this month, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign raised a complaint with OSCR’s investigations team in relation to KKL-Scotland’s registration as a charity. The letter argued that “the genesis of KKL Scotland creates a strong presumption that KKL-Scotland will be operating primarily for the benefit of JNF (Israel)/KKL. That means that it will be supporting blatantly discriminatory and racist actions within Israel and actions in the West Bank which are illegal under international law.” Scottish PSC also sent letters to each Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), alerting them to the issues and concerns raised with OSCR and requesting that MSPs consider “whether the acceptance of KKL Scotland as a Scottish Charity is consistent with the Scottish charity public benefit test, and with OSCR’s wider duty to maintain the good reputation of Scottish charities.”

This week, in response to a parliamentary question raised by Bill Wilson MSP, Fergus Ewing, the Minister responsible, confirmed that OSCR “has an inquiry open into the KKL (Scotland) Charitable Trust, which is actively on-going”. The issue has also been discussed in Scotland’s voluntary sector newspaper Third Force News (TFN) where Uri Davis, leading Israeli academic and vice-chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights backed the claims of the Scottish PSC. Bill Wilson MSP told TFN: “if it is the case that this organisation is indeed discriminating against people of non-Jewish origin in Israel then it seems to me that would breech the principal of charity.”

Scottish PSC Chair, Mick Napier, said: “We welcome the readiness of Bill Wilson and other MSPs to raise the issue of the fitness of KKL-Scotland to enjoy charitable status. The Scottish Parliament is ultimately responsible for the implementation of charity law in Scotland. Many will regret that KKL-Scotland was granted charitable status in the first place, a status which their racist agenda, not to mention their clearly political aims, disqualifies them in the eyes of most people in Scotland. We hope that MSPs and the wider public will educate themselves as to the true nature of KKL-Scotland, its commitment to the ongoing violation of Palestinian human rights, and its role in securing the unwilling support of Scottish tax payers in Israel’s ethnic cleansing programme.

Scottish PSC feels it is essential that OSCR and the wider Scottish public hear the testimony first hand of those Palestinians who have suffered grievously over a long period of time at the hands of KKL-JNF Israel and its Scottish fundraisers. Testimony is available that would raise the issue of KKL Scotland office holders facing prison sentences in addition to the loss of charitable status.”

Original at:  http://www.scottishpsc.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1895&Itemid=272

Source Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (26 October 2007)


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