Jewish Chronicle has issued an apology yesterday to the trustees of Interpal, a UK-based registered charity which provides relief and development aid to Palestinians in need, and agreed to pay for libel damages caused by an article published earlier this year.
In an article published on March 21, 2019, the Jewish Chronicle stated that Interpal is a “…a Muslim charity that was deemed by the US a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Organisation in 2003”, without making it clear that Interpal has always contested the status, operates lawfully in the UK, and that the US authorities have yet to provide any evidence to the British government of any wrongdoing on the part of Interpal.
This however is not the first time the newspaper has had to apologise to British charities for making false accusations. Back in 2014, the paper apologised and paid substantial damages to Human Appeal International for accusing it of being a designated entity in the US and for falsely claiming that the charity supported suicide bombings. Also that year, it had to apologise to the Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
In it’s apology, the Jewish Chronicle states:
We wish to make clear that Interpal and its Trustees have always strongly contested the US designation, and Interpal continues to operate fully lawfully under the aegis of the Charity Commission. We accept that neither Interpal, nor its Trustees, have ever been involved with or provided support for terrorist activity of any kind. We apologise unreservedly to the Trustees for any distress caused and have agreed to pay them damages for libel.
As well as false claims against Interpal, in it’s original article, the Jewish Chronicle also suggested that the Chairman of Interpal, Ibrahim Hewitt, has expressed extremist views concerning the punishments of adulterers and gay people – false claims for which it also apologised.
As part of it’s settlement with Interpal for the defamation complaint, the Jewish Chronicle has also published an article on it’s website authored by Ibrahim Hewitt, titled: “Interpal provides humanitarian aid to people in desperate need; no more, no less“.
In June this year, Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Daily Mail and MailOnline, published full apologies and paid £120,000 in libel damages to the trustees of Interpal, along with their legal costs, for similar libelous claims.