IHRC has submitted a formal complaint to the Charity Commission to complain about the activities of UK Toremet, a British registered charity that continues to facilitate the supply of materials to the Israeli army, in apparent contravention of Charity Commission regulations.
UK Toremet serves as a UK portal that funnels money to a range of Israel-based organisations that buy supplies for the Israeli army.
A cursory internet search has found various Israeli organisations using UK Toremet fundraising for equipment for the Israeli Defence Force during its current invasion of Gaza. These organisations have used UK Toremet to process their donations. One of these is One People, set up after 7 October 2023, in its own words “to provide IDF soldiers and rapid response teams with the bulletproof vests, helmets and other lifesaving equipment”. The website openly lists UK Toremet as a partner organisation through which people can donate to One People.
One People is also listed by Yad L’Olim, a non profit organisation in Israel, as a conduit for funds to Israeli soldiers and their units, supplying soldiers with helmets, vests, armour, tactical glasses, knee pads and tactical gloves.
Gush Etzion is another Israeli organisation that uses UK Toremet to channel funds from donors in the UK. It exists to serve settlers in the illegal cluster of settlements of the same name in the West Bank. Its website also states that it provides soldiers from the settlements serving in the IDF with “essential provisions such as soap, shampoo, blankets, as well as vital equipment including first aid kits.”
KEHgives (Kehillat Eretz Hemdah) is yet another Israeli organisation that services Israeli military forces with funds raised through UK Toremet. Its website states:
“While the IDF provides core equipment there are many things that can make the life of a combat soldier in the field more comfortable and effective: gloves, thermal clothing, battery packs, and personal hygiene products, just to name just a few.”
It openly boasts about sending millions of dollars of military equipment to Israeli soldiers in the field since 7 October 2023. There are other examples that can be raised, we have highlighted these few, as even one, we believe, is enough for the Charity Commission to take action.
The supply of military equipment to a state army that is currently on trial for genocide in the International Court of Justice barely meets the threshold of what is legal, let alone what can be considered a charitable purpose. It is a flagrant abuse of charity status to carry out activities that are not only legally dubious but potentially criminal. It is particularly galling that the Charity Commission has used negative media coverage of charities, and on occasion people who have nothing to do with registered charities as a route to investigate and even sanction charities on the basis of ‘reputational damage’, yet taken no action against charities clearly supporting the armed forces of Israel repeatedly accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity and currently accused of genocide.
This is the second time that IHRC has made a complaint to the Commission about UK Toremet.
The first in 2015, based on an extensive investigation, alleged that funds raised by UK Toremet, which serves as a UK portal that funnels money to a range of Israel-based organisations, were inter alia being used to buy supplies for the Israeli army.
The outcome of the Commission’s enquiries confirmed this main finding of our investigation.
IHRC believes that the Commission’s failure to act firmly and decisively on previous complaints about the organisation has led to a situation whereby it continues to exploit its charity status to raise money from the British public for the pursuit of the military objectives of a foreign force.
In recent years the Charity Commission has come down hard on Muslim organisations accused of breaching charity regulations. Even when the infractions have been minor or the complaints dubious the Commission has brought the full weight of its powers to bear on the charities concerned. In contrast, the response to complaints against pro-Israel charities have seemed to lack any bite. This double standard has allowed them to continue to act openly and with apparent impunity.
The letter calls on the charities watchdog to launch an immediate investigation into the continued relationship between UK Toremet and the Israeli armed forces with a view to putting a halt to activities that appear to be a clear breach of charities regulations.
The full letter can be accessed here.
The 2015 IHRC report on UK Toremet is available to download here.
For more information or comment please contact the Press Office on (+44) 208 904 0222 or (+44) 7958 522196 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Telephone: (+44) 20 8904 4222