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GoFundMe shuts US-based Palestinian group’s account 

January 31, 2020 at 3:31 pm

Thousands attend a protest in support of the Palestinian people on 11 May 2019 [Tayfun Salcı/Anadolu Agency]

The popular charitable online giving platform GoFundMe has closed down the account of Palestinian advocacy organisation Al-Awda without providing any reason.

Based in the US, Al-Awda is a non-profit organisation of activists and students who are dedicated to the education of the public on the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Palestine.

According to screen shots of the social media posts from GoFundMe and Abbas Hamideh, the head of Al-Awda, the crowdsourcing platform closed the account this month, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Abbas wrote: “Apparently GoFundMe doesn’t want to do business with Al-Awda – Right of Return.”

“We are an American non-profit (501c3) organisation advocating for Palestinian refugees. They refuse requests to disclose reasons why they shut down a legitimate fund raiser after using them successfully for the past four years. Why did they shut us down? Could it be because we are advocates of the BDS movement and one of its founders?”

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GoFundMe is a California-based crowdfunding platform that permits people to raise money for celebrations and causes and claims to be the world’s largest crowdfunding site by money raised.

A representative for GoFundMe stated: “We’ve reviewed your GoFundMe account and confirmed we are unable to process donations for it. Your GoFundMe account and any associated campaigns will remain closed. We also aren’t able to share the reasons for this action.”

Al-Awda is seeking to raise funds this year to protest against the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the most powerful pro-Israel lobby groups in the United States.

The pro-Palestinian group said: “The major portion of our expenses is for Al-Awda’s upcoming National Rally to Support Palestine and Protest AIPAC on Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Washington.”

On its site, Al-Awda says it “is the only Palestinian led organisation in the North America whose main focus is on the Palestinian refugees’ Right to Return to their ancestral homeland.”

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