In January 2014, an international scandal arose when the non-governmental humanitarian aid organization (NGO) Oxfam publicly objected to actress Scarlett Johansson’s decision to become a spokesperson for the Israeli company SodaStream. Johannson, an Oxfam goodwill ambassador, was targeted by Oxfam because SodaStream operates a factory in the Israeli settlement Maaleh Adumim. Further, Oxfam went on to publicly declare its support for boycotting all Israeli companies based in the West Bank.
A Shurat HaDin investigation has revealed that even as Oxfam attacked Scarlett Johansson and Israel for violating international law, the organization itself was violating both international law and the laws of many sovereign nations. Specifically, Oxfam’s involvement with two Palestinian NGOs — the Union of Health Workers Committees (UHWC) and the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (UAWC) — violates numerous laws against giving material and financial aid to terrorist organizations.
Both the UHWC and the UAWC are well-known for their close connections to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), one of the oldest and most violent Palestinian terrorist organizations in the world. The PFLP is responsible for numerous suicide bombings, airplane hijackings, and assassinations, including some of the most notorious international terror attacks of the 1970s. Our investigation has revealed that the UHWC and UAWC are not merely close to the PFLP, but they are branches of the PFLP, founded, staffed, and operated by the terrorist group.
It is a crime under international law, as well as US, UK, Israeli, and EU law, to provide material and financial support to terrorist groups, including ostensibly benign subsidiary organizations and branches of terrorist groups. It is our conclusion that Oxfam is currently in direct violation of these laws, and is liable for both criminal and civil penalties as a result.
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