Friday, August 5, 2016

World Vision Is Shocked--Shocked!--That the Head of Its Gaza Office Has Been Accused of Repurposing Charity Bucks to Aid Hamas

Here is the supposedly neutral organization's statement expressing shock and horror over its employee's arrest:
On June 15th, 2016, Mohammad El Halabi, the manager of operations for World Vision in Gaza, was arrested on his way home from routine meetings. On August 4th 2016, after 50 days in Israeli state detention, Mohammad was charged with providing support to Hamas. World Vision was shocked to learn of these charges against Mohammad. 
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. World Vision has been working in Israel/Palestine for over 40 years, striving to give hope to over 500,000 of the most vulnerable children, through education, health, child protection and resilience programs. "We continue to call for a fair, legal process." 
World Vision subscribes to the humanitarian principles of impartiality and neutrality and therefore rejects any involvement in any political, military or terrorist activities and maintains its independence as a humanitarian aid agency committed to serving the poor, especially children. World Vision has detailed procedures and control mechanisms in place to ensure that the funds entrusted to us are spent in accordance with applicable legal requirements and in ways that do not fuel conflict but rather contribute to peace. 
World Vision programs in Gaza have been subject to regular internal and independent audits, independent evaluations, and a broad range of internal controls aimed at ensuring that assets reach their intended beneficiaries and are used in compliance with applicable laws and donor requirements. We will carefully review any evidence presented to us and will take appropriate actions based on that evidence. We continue to call for a fair, legal process for Mohammad.
 Now for some facts that, go figure, didn't make it into the statement (my bolds):
Critics over the years have attributed to World Vision a pro-Palestinian bias. 
Among others, pro-Israel Christians have been troubled by the stance taken by a major evangelical organization whose work around the world is generally held in high regard. 
“The bulk of World Vision’s work involves assisting poor communities, and rarely crosses the line into political or theological controversies. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an exception,” Luke Moon of the Institute of Religion and Democracy wrote in a July 2014 edition of The Tower
“World Vision makes no secret of its distaste for Zionism, both Jewish and Christian.” 
As long ago as 2004, NGO Monitor, an Israeli group that monitors the work of civil society groups working in the region, summed up World Vision as follows: “Tacit support for terror and a highly politicized agenda reflecting anti-Israel rhetoric and biased history, under the guise of ‘development assistance and justice.’” ...
So much for "humanitarian principles of impartiality and neutrality."

Update: According to Shurat HaDin, it has been warning about World Vision's humaniterrorism for a while now:
For the past four years, Shurat HaDin has been warning that funds provided to Gaza by Christian mega charity, World Vision, were being utilized for terrorism. In 2012, Tel Aviv based civil rights center, Shurat HaDin, notified the Australian government that its aid money being administrated by World Vision was being transferred to front charities of Palestinian terror groups in Gaza. Both the Australian government and World Vision denied Shurat HaDin's warning.

In 2015, Shurat HaDin again cautioned the Australian government that World Vision was operating as an active arm of the PFLP and other terror groups. World Vision's chief executive, Tim Costello, vehemently denied the charges and claimed that WVA had “no interest in supporting terrorism.” However, as of this week, Shurat HaDin’s warnings against WVA have been proven true. Israel’s internal security service has arrested a senior employee of World Vision, Mohammed Halabi, who stands accused of transferring up to $50 million, over the course of several years, to Palestinian terror organization Hamas.

According to Shurat HaDin’s President, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: "For years we have been warning that World Vision is funding Palestinian terror groups in Gaza. World Vision has repeatedly denied our charges and refused to seriously investigate where its funds are going. They assured us that the organizations they fund had been vetted and were not engaged with terrorism. Who knows how many of Hamas's missiles and how many of the stabbing attacks were funded by World Vision after they were put on notice that they were financing Palestinian terror. The assistance to Gaza by foreign aid organizations is directly responsible for the murder of scores of Jews in Israel."

Go HERE to read more about this in The Jerusalem Post.

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