LONDON – Two community organizations have launched an awareness campaign against
a British cosmetics company for its support of a “Freedom for Palestine”
campaign led by an anti-Israel charity.
The Zionist Federation of the UK
and StandWithUs UK are taking a stand against LUSH, a cosmetics chain with 600
stores in 43 countries, for supporting the “OneWorld – Freedom for Palestine”
campaign, which they say uses rhetoric of an anti-Israel campaign led by War on
Want, a charity with a hostile stance towards Israel.
USH is opening a
store in Brent Cross, a shopping mall in a heavily-Jewish area of northwest
London. StandWithUs is calling for people to boycott the store saying it was
“disturbed that the UK-based parent company of LUSH Cosmetics is promoting an
extremist, anti-Israel group, War on Want, as one of its ‘ethical campaigns.’”
“StandWithUs is encouraging people to stop buying LUSH products until it
reverses this policy and ends its involvement with campaigns that harm Israel
and the peace process. Unfortunately, LUSH has chosen to promote the ‘OneWorld’
song project. The lyrics are anti-Israel propaganda and proceeds from the sales
of the song will all go to WoW.”
The Zionist Federation said the content
on LUSH’s website contains some “appalling bias and falsehoods which need to be
addressed” and have called on supporters to contact LUSH to appeal to them to
withdraw their support for OneWorld.
The community organization
highlighted some of the “falsehoods” on the company’s website.
siege of Gaza has condemned its 1.5 million inhabitants to levels of poverty
more commonly associated with sub-Saharan Africa – a humanitarian disaster with
no end in sight,” the LUSH website states.
“The International Committee
of the Red Cross declared that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Israel
sends in thousands of tons of supplies into Gaza every single week and the life
expectancy of someone living in Gaza is actually longer than someone living in
Glasgow,” said the ZF in response.
War on Want is a major player in the
boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. It campaigns also for
the right of return for all Palestinian refugees and states that it does not
support a two-state solution as it says it doesn’t advocate a solution to the
Over the years, the Charity Commission of England and Wales has
received numerous complaints relating to WoW’s rhetoric and politicized
“Whilst charities are permitted to engage in political
advocacy to further their charitable aims, War on Want gives the appearance of
being very much driven by its political agenda,” said Jon Benjamin, chief
executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
“WoW has been a
leader in the propaganda campaign to demonize Israel through the Boycott,
Divestment and Sanctions movement and it supports the propaganda and agenda of
groups like Hamas,” a SWU spokesman said.
“WoW demands that Israel take
down its security fence, end the Gaza blockade and accept the Palestinians’
right of return, which in essence calls for Israel’s destruction through
StandWithUs accused LUSH of copying WoW’s
“LUSH simply copied and pasted WoW’s propaganda against Israel
onto its website, in its “ethical campaigns” section.
They are identical
to those on WoW’s “Justice for Palestine” page. The OneWorld project is
supported by veteran anti-Israel groups, including the A.M.
Foundation, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al Aqsa, Israeli Committee
against House Demolitions UK, Stop the War Coalition and Trust Greenbelt,” SWU
In 2008, the Charity Commission warned War on Want after it
received complaints about its campaigning against Israel, including one from MP
and then Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Teresa
“Several concerns were raised with the Charity Commission
relating to the administration and management of War on Want,” the Charity
Commission said at the time.
“We considered these concerns, and
determined that only those relating to WoW's campaigning activities raised
issues that would be for the Commission to take forward.
Commission said it received written assurances from the charity that it would
look at its campaigning and said that it would monitor the charity.
will continue to monitor the work of War on Want, and to work with the charity,
to prevent a recurrence of these issues.”
The Charity Commission told The
on Tuesday that it has assessed the complaints made against WoW
but after assessing them, did not take them forward.
everybody will agree with the campaigning and political activities that a
charity may undertake, it is for the charity trustees to consider the potential
risks against the potential benefits that their activities may bring and make a
decision which is in the best interests of the charity,” a Charity Commission
spokesman told the Post
Lush declined to comment on any of the issues.