EXCLUSIVE: Charity Commission to assess Amnesty ‘apartheid’ report funding claims

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

EXCLUSIVE: Charity Commission to assess Amnesty ‘apartheid’ report funding claims

Regulator confirms it is looking into whether funds donated to Amnesty were used in its controversial report about Israel, 'and if so, whether this is of regulatory concern'.

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

The Amnesty report was published earlier in February 2022
The Amnesty report was published earlier in February 2022

The Charity Commission has confirmed to Jewish News it is assessing whether donations were used to fund Amnesty International’s “apartheid state” report on Israel – and “if so, whether this is of regulatory concern”.

A spokesperson for the watchdog said it was “aware” of concerns raised over this matter and “in line with our standard process are currently assessing information to determine if charitable funds have been used to fund the report and, if so, whether this is of regulatory concern. ”

Amnesty raises money in Britain as a charitable trust, which means that it receives tax benefits such as gift aid from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

However, it published its reports through a limited company, Amnesty International Ltd, which it funds.

Charity Commission rules say that when charities do this, they must ensure that the company uses its funding for charitable purposes and the “public benefit”.

In a report published earlier this month Amnesty international said that Israeli laws, policies and practices against Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories amounted to apartheid.

The report alleged that the state of Israel maintains “an institutionalised regime of oppression and domination of the Palestinian population for the benefit of Jewish Israelis”.

The report repeatedly said that the Jewish state is guilty of human rights breaches.

Critics said the report showed bias by barely mentioning violence against Israeli civilians and manipulating facts and quotes.

Jonathan Turner, chief executive of the UK campaign group Lawyers for Israel, was amongst those who raised the issue of those sponsoring the report.

He said: “The Charity Commission and HMRC should consider whether the sponsorship of this report by Amnesty International’s UK Charities is compatible with their charitable status and tax benefits.”

Lord Carlile, QC, the former government reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation, called the report “overtly political”, adding:“This is on the very edge of their permissible role as a charity.”

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and Keith Black, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said in a joint statement: “At a time of rising attacks on Jews around the world, Amnesty’s report is not just an attack on the state of Israel. It is an attack on the very concept and existence of Jewish sovereignty and on the Jewish people.”

A Charity Commission spokesperson confirmed to Jewish News they were aware of questions now raised over the legality of funding of the report.

A spokesperson said: “We are aware of this matter and in line with our standard process, are currently assessing information to determine if charitable funds have been used to fund the report and, if so, whether this is of regulatory concern.

“Amnesty International, the author of the report, is not a charity and therefore outside of the Commission’s jurisdiction. We cannot comment further at this time.”

Amnesty International told Jewish News: “Amnesty International will be happy to work with the Commission to answer any questions they might have”.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: