Jewish Chronicle publishes apology to Interpal over false terrorism accusations

Interpal helps Palestinians in need

The Jewish Chronicle newspaper has published a humiliating apology and agreed to pay damages to the charity Interpal after falsely accusing it of supporting terrorism.

The Israel-supporting newspaper published the apology on Friday over an article it published in March this year titled: “Corbyn spoke at conference calling for release of terrorists, attended by ‘blood libel’ cleric Salah.”

“We referred to the charity Interpal, which supports Palestinians in need, as having been listed by the United States as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist Organisation’ in 2003,” the apology read.

“We wish to make clear that Interpal and its Trustees have always strongly contested the U.S. designation, and Interpal continues to operate fully lawfully under the aegis of the Charity Commission. We accept that neither Interpal, nor its Trustees, have ever been involved with or provided support for terrorist activity of any kind. We apologise unreservedly to the Trustees for any distress caused and have agreed to pay them damages for libel.

“Our article also suggested that Ibrahim Hewitt, one of the Trustees and the Chairman of Interpal, has expressed extremist views concerning punishments for adulterers and gay people. In fact, the views attributed to Mr Hewitt arise out of a book he wrote some 25 years ago regarding the interpretation of the Koran. Mr Hewitt has asked us to make clear that he does not condone discrimination in any form, including against gay people or adulterers, and we are happy to do so.”

Meanwhile, The Jewish Chronicle also agreed to publish an article by Ibrahim Hewitt following the resolution of the defamation complaint. The article focussed on the suffering of Palestinians.

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Hewitt wrote: “The UN estimates that Gaza will be ‘unliveable’ by 2020, which is a mere six months from now. Some argue, however, that this is already the case. Over 97% of water in Gaza is unfit for consumption (UNOCHA) and 80% of families must rely on humanitarian assistance simply to survive. The blockade of the coastal territory and lack of access to basic essentials has also led to a health crisis and a collapsed economy with little to no hope for progress.

“Life is equally miserable for the millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and refugee camps in neighbouring countries with severe restrictions on movement, employment and little access to daily necessities.

“Ever since it was established in 1994, British charity Interpal has worked to provide Palestinians access to their basic needs and rights as human beings, including education, water and sanitation, medical aid and developmental assistance, in addition to emergency relief, one-to-one child sponsorship and seasonal support. Irrespective of age, gender, political affiliation or any other defining factor, Interpal has helped to alleviate the suffering of millions of individuals over the years. The charity provides humanitarian aid to people in desperate need; no more, no less…

“We are aware of attempts to delegitimise and discredit our work, but we maintain unwaveringly that the people behind them are misguided; Interpal is strictly apolitical and humanitarian in our approach. In the 25 years since it was formed, we can look back on Interpal’s bittersweet journey to date, which has seen tremendous success and many challenges along the way. We have published a book chronicling the journey so far and dispelling false claims officially and, we hope, once and for all by providing much needed context to allegations made against us.

“Looking ahead, we seek to continue to facilitate access to basic human rights such as clean water, education and healthcare and provide hope though employment and training opportunities whilst also alleviating suffering with more immediate humanitarian support. As we have done for 25 years, we will also continue to stand up to scrutiny and uphold the highest standards of accountability and transparency in all that we do.”

You can read the full article here.

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