World Vision Funds Charity or Terror

By BJLife/Sharon Altshul
Posted on 09/19/16

Jerusalem, Israel - Sept. 19, 2016 - On Sunday, September 18, Dr. Gerald M. Steinberg, professor of politics at Bar Ilan Universty and president of NGO Monitor, and Australian politician, the Hon. Michael Danby, senior member of the Australian Labor Party, presented information and opinions on the World Vision charity organization and its financial situation, to members of the press at the Jerusalem Press Club, located in Yemin Moshe neighborhood

In August, the Israel Security Agency, Shin Bet, accused Mohammed El-Halabi, head of the Gaza operations of World Vision, of diverting charity funds in Gaza to Hamas. 

Australia is one of the largest contributors to World Vision, having sent tens of millions of dollars over the years. Danby said, "Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization, therefore, it is non-partisan, but law." Australian tax money for foreign aid cannot go to Hamas and its operatives. 

"If funds are going to worthy projects, well done," stated Danby, but "if going to building tunnels, that is beyond the pale." Gaza has received huge amounts, however, Danby noted Tibet receives nothing from World Vision, Danby hopes a civil trial in a Beer Sheva courtroom will  openly test the allegations.

NGO Monitor was started after the Durban Conference 15 years ago, making NGOs accountable is their tag line, Steinberg opened his remarks saying, "NGOs have become political. World Vision is not unique."

Steinberg sited World Vision reports which are inconsistent. Two separate entities exist, World Vision Israel, a registered NGO, which did not report in 2015, and Jerusalem West Bank Gaza. Totals are reported, but there is no breakdown. Much of the aid is sent to Gaza as goods and services, not as cash. Do the people who need aid receive aid or is it diverted to Hamas?

Leaders of World Vision, say "We have PriceWaterhouseCoopers that audit us each year." But does PriceWaterhouse actually make on site visits to see where the funds go? Australia, Israel and World Vision will be following the proceedings when the trial opens in Beer Sheva closely. With government intervention, it is hoped NGOs will be more cooperative and regulated in the future. 

Danby mentioned two areas Australia has come to follow Israel. The first is administrative detentions, for the children those who after serving sentences are unrepentant. Secondly, 14-18-year old convicted of terrorists crimes will no longer be tried as  children in court. A teen who shot a man in head yelling "Allah Akbar" will face charges in regular courtroom. 

With terror spreading, funding, transparency and accountability will become increasingly important.