The Charity Commission regulates all charities in the UK, which includes thousands of mosques and charities that support Palestine.
The Charity Commission like most government institutions reflects Government Policy, and in particular its Pro Israeli stance. This results in attacks on Charities that raise funds for Palestine, and Muslim Charities in General. Three particular cases include Interpal, Viva Palestina and Iera (which i will discuss )
The Charity Commission is run by its Board, who are appointed by the Government. Recently six Board Members have been appointed. Including Tony Leifer, Peter Clarke, Gwithian Prins, all who serve under the the chair William Shawcross
Just a cursory glance at the background of these individuals shows how the Government appoints Directors that will ensure its Policies are reflected in the Charity Commission
In this short blog. I will summaries the background of these individuals and give recommendations on how to redress this situation. This will include the process by which they are appointed, and how this can be challenged. But also highlight alternatives to charitable status that would free institutions from the biased jurisdiction of the Charity Commission.
Charity Commission Board of Directors
Chair of Charity Commision has a long history of attacking those that try to help Palestine. He is also a staunch defender of Tony Blair and a member of the pro israeli ogransiation Anglo Israel Association that has been cheerleading the genocide in Gaza.
“Criticism of Tony Blair are often hysterical and disproportionate, particularly in regard to Iraq. He saw Islamist terrorism for what it is”.
Shawcross was also instrumental in calling for the War on Iraq
“If saddam Hussein was allowed to aquire nuclear weapons, he and his iraq would become untouchable”
He is also General Counsel to Curtis Brown a literay agent, with such Orientalist works as Undercover Muslim and pro Israeli works such as “David Ben-Grunion war diaries” and David J Goldberg author of Zionism, to the promised land.
http://www.salaam.co.uk/blogs-new/?p=739 (Board of Deputies oversteps)
http://www.bod.org.uk/live/content.php?Category_ID=126 (Board of Deputies – Speak Out for Israel)
Clare was Head of Counter Terrorism Unit. He was also appointed special commissioner to review evidence of Birmingham “Trojan Horse”. He also acts as the interface between police and MI5 (yep this guy is on the board of the charity commission)
History of Attacking Charities that Help Palestine
The charity Interpal has on three occasions, following allegations, been the subject of investigations by the Charity Commission for England and Wales. In all three investigations evidence was not found to prove alleged links between Interpal and organisations involved in terrorism.
In 1996 allegations were made against Interpal and its trustees in the Sunday Telegraph. A Charity Commission inquiry found no evidence that donations could not be accounted for or were made for political reasons. Subsequently the Telegraph issued the following apology and retraction.
On August 22, 2003 the United States Department of the Treasury published a list of six individuals and five charities it alleged to have links to Hamas and terrorism. The list included Interpal. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control put them all on a list of individuals and organizations with whom United States citizens and permanent residents are prohibited from doing business.
But a few weeks later, after a full investigation, the British Charity Commission cleared Interpal of any illegal activities, finding the US Treasury did not provide evidence to support their allegations, and unfroze its assets. After the Board of Deputies of British Jews repeated this allegation, it was sued by Interpal. The parties settled out of court, with the Board of Deputies making a public apology and posting the statement on its website for 28 days.
And in July 2006 the BBC broadcast a Panorama programme, Faith, Hate and Charity, alleging that Interpal donated funds to voluntary organisations in the Palestinian territories that supported the ideology of Hamas.
After an extended investigation, in February 2009 the Charity Commission report dismissed allegations by Panorama that Interpal was funding organisations involved in terrorism. 
Viva Palestina was established during the Gaza War in January 2009 by a group including British MP George Galloway. hundreds of volunteers launched the first convoy comprising approximately 110 vehicles intended for use in Gaza. Among these were a fire engine donated by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), twelve ambulances, a boat and trucks full of medicines, tools, clothes, blankets and gifts for children. The 5,000-mile route passed through Belgium, France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.
The Charity Commission attempted to take jurisdiction over Viva Palestina (not Registered as a charity)
A Letter from George Galloway MP to Charity Commission explains in detail the events that unfolded.
Eventually the Charity Commission removed its enforced charity status from its register of charities
The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) is an international organisation committed to educating and informing humanity about, and inviting to, the truth and noble message of Islam
Charity Commission attacks IERA
Background into how Charity Commission Directors appointed
- A panel must be set up to oversee the appointment process
- The panel must be chaired by an assessor and a department official
- “Departments must give particular attention to attracting a strong and diverse field of candidates, including those from underrepresented groups”
- Produce a Panel Report documenting the process and reasons behind the decision to appoint particular candidates
How You Can Make A Difference
Under the Freedom of Information act you can request to see the panel report and to find out who was on the panel that appointed the Pro Israeli Directors.
If you are not happy with the selection because it broke the code of conduct then you can lodge a complaint to the public appointments commissioner Sir David Normington
However the Pro Israeli government appoints Directors to Government institutions that will implement their Pro Israeli stance. So although pressure will be applied the outcome may not be great.
There is an alternative though. Mosques and Other charitable organisations don’t have to be registered as Charities. In fact their are many benefits, not least being outside of the jurisdiction of this Pro Israeli Governmental department.
Advantages of NOT being a charity
- Charity law imposes high standards of regulation and bureaucracy.
Trading, political and campaigning activities are restricted.
- A charity must have exclusively charitable aims. Some organisations may carry out their aims by a range of activities, some of them charitable, some of them not. To become a charity, this type of organisation would have to stop its non-charitable activities. (The non-charitable activities can, of course, continue if carried on by a separate non-charitable organisation.) Promoters will need to consider carefully if becoming a charity will severely restrict their planned activities. If so, charitable status may not be right for your organisation.
- Strict rules apply to trading by charities
- Trustees are not allowed to receive financial benefits from the charity which they manage unless this is specifically authorised by the governing document of the charity or by the Charity Commission