A pro-Palestinian lobby asked a British charity to refuse donations by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev.
The New York-based Coalition for Justice in the Middle East, also known as Adalah-NY, wrote to Oxfam International this month demanding that it stop accepting charitable contributions from Leviev, a diamond and construction magnate who is in the process of relocating from Israel to Great Britain.
The lobby noted the role played by Leviev’s firm Africa Israel in the construction of West Bank settlements, as well as his part ownership of the Israeli fuel company Dor Alon, which recently scaled back supplies to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip under orders from the Olmert government.
Oxfam, the lobby wrote, should “publicly distance themselves from Leviev until he reforms.”
Founded to provide humanitarian relief to disaster zones, Oxfam has come out frequently against Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. It responded to the call by the Coalition for Justice in the Middle East by saying that Leviev is not known to have donated money to Oxfam.
“Contrary to various citations, Lev Leviev is not a donor to Oxfam America and has never been one. To the best of our knowledge Mr. Leviev has not been a donor to Oxfam or any of its affiliates. Oxfam International is an organization of 13 national affiliates working in 100 countries, and we are checking thoroughly whether any Oxfam has had any relationship with Mr. Leviev,” said a statement from Alex Renton of Oxfam Great Britain and Adrienne Smith of Oxfam America.