East London Jewish charity is raising funds for IDF

Website screenshot

A Jewish charity in Redbridge, East London, is fundraising for the Israeli Defence Forces which have been widely accused of committing genocide in Gaza.

The Chabad Lubavitch Centre in Ilford has a donation link on its website titled: “VITAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED BY THE IDF… Funds raised will go direct to equipment needed by Aron Dov Sufrin’s reserve unit, up in the North of Israel, and Support Units.”

5Pillars understands that complaints have been made to the Charity Commission which only allows charities to engage in political activity if it “supports their purpose and is in their best interests.”

And given that the centre’s purpose is the “advancement and promotion of the Jewish religion and Jewish education,” it is not clear how raising funds for the IDF can be reconciled with that.

Complaints have also been made to Redbridge Council, the Home Secretary and the police.

A charity expert told 5Pillars: “The Charity Commission needs to investigate whether this charity is working within its charitable objects. It’s not clear how fundraising for an army that is accused of grave international war crimes would serve any public benefit.”

The charity’s executive director is Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin who told the Ilford Recorder in October that Hamas is “worse than ISIS” and that his family members in Israel had been killed in recent attacks. He added that his son is a serving soldier in the Israeli army.

Sign up for regular updates straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!

“We hear first-hand how it is there, so for people to already start justifying that all of this barbaric behaviour is a result of Israel’s suppression of the people of Gaza is something that turns out stomachs inside out,” he said.

“Now is not the time for politics of rights and wrongs. Now is the time for everybody to get together and offer unequivocal support for Israel, but how is it that locally we haven’t heard anything?”

In June 2009 Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin was given an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II for “Services to Jewish Community Relations and Drugsline.”

This is not the first Jewish charity that is fundraising for the IDF. Earlier this month, Middle East Eye reported that the Charity Commission had been urged to investigate the UK Friends of the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers (UK-AWIS), which was also asking for donations to support forces taking part in Operation Swords of Iron.

In a post on its Facebook page on November 17, UK-AWIS said: “Each generous donation allows us to better provide essentials for our frontline soldiers in Operation Swords of Iron.”

According to official figures, the Palestinian death toll from the Israeli army’s ongoing attacks on the Gaza Strip since October 7 has risen to 21,507, with 55,915 injured.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed and nearly two million residents displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicines.​​​​​​​

The IDF has been widely accused of committing war crimes, and even genocide, by human rights organisations.

Israel says it must wipe out Hamas which poses an existential threat to the Jewish state.

Add your comments below

Previous articleChildren treated for severe burns at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Gaza
Next articleSouth Africa files case at international court accusing Israel of ‘genocidal acts’