Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Subornation of World Vision

A Sad, But Salutary Lesson

We long ago stopped supporting the Christian aid organisation, World Vision.  That is not to say that at that time we reached the view that the organisation was corrupt or that its aid projects were counter-productive.  Rather, we were uncomfortable with World Vision's increasing reliance upon secular state governments and the UN for its work--both in the sense of relying upon them as a key source for funds and being willing to work within their moral universe.  

World Vision, by turning to the pagans for funding and support, would eventually become dependant upon them, if not compromised in their commitment to the Christian gospel.  There were plenty of other, more consistent Christian organisations worthy of support.  The best Christian charity is face-to-face work, person-to-person, village-by-village.  The best Christian charitable work is rarely in a hurry, believing that suffering has been intrinsic to the human condition ever since the Fall.  The best Christian charitable work honours Christ and walks after Him, not instead of Him.

Now it has emerged that funds from World Vision have been siphoned off by one of its senior employees and funnelled to aid and abet Hamas, a blood thirsty Islamic pseudo-state.

World Vision is an international NGO, one of the largest charitable and humanitarian aid organizations in the world, which operates in more than 100 countries. It receives support primarily from the UN and from Western governments.   Israel has discovered that Mohammed El-Halabi, currently employed as director of the Gaza branch of World Vision, is actually a major figure in the terrorist/military arm of Hamas. El-Halabi has been taking advantage of his position to divert the humanitarian organization’s funds and resources from the needy to benefit Hamas’ terrorist and military activities.

In fact, more than half of World Vision’s resources in the Gaza Strip – originating in aid money from Western states such as the United States, England and Australia – were transferred to Hamas to strengthen its terrorist arm.  [Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
Taking a leaf from the Cold War, Hamas secreted a sleeper mole deep within the counsels of World Vision.  El-Halabi joined Hamas in 2000, and gradually wormed his way into the local leadership of World Vision to where he was able to divert much, if not most, of World Vision money into Hamas activities.  A litany of corruptions follows:
According to El-Halabi, the funds he diverted to Hamas were intended mainly to strengthen the terrorist arm. As such, they were utilized to finance the digging of terror tunnels [not meant for smuggling but for attacks on communities in southern Israel and on Israeli security forces)], the building of military bases such as one code-named "Palestine" [built in 2015 entirely from British aid money] and the purchase of weapons.

Some of the money went to pay the salaries of Hamas terrorists and, in some cases, senior Hamas terrorists took large sums of money for their own personal use.  El-Halabi also used World Vision resources to provide logistical aid to the terrorist arm of Hamas. This, too, was the result of a sophisticated, well-oiled system that succeeded in transferring 60% of the humanitarian organization's resources in Gaza to Hamas.

El-Halabi regularly transferred to Hamas equipment that he had ordered on behalf of World Vision, supposedly for agricultural aid. The equipment included, inter alia, iron rods, digging equipment, pipes and building materials, and was used in fact to construct Hamas military outposts and to dig terror tunnels.   Just as El-Halabi exploited the humanitarian projects that he initiated in order to divert funds to Hamas, he also arranged for the provision of logistical support to Hamas. For instance, he initiated a greenhouse project in order to use the greenhouses to hide the sites where terror tunnels were being dug. In addition, a project for the rehabilitation of [fictitious] fishermen was actually used to provide motor boats and diving suits for Hamas' military marine unit.

Another regular method of acquiring equipment for Hamas was to disguise Hamas warehouses as World Vision warehouses. Trucks bringing supplies to the Kerem Shalom Crossing between Israel and Gaza would unload their goods at Hamas warehouses instead of legitimate World Vision warehouses. Hamas operatives would pick up the supplies in the dead of night.

According to El-Halabi, the humanitarian aid donated for the residents of the Gaza Strip was in actual fact given almost exclusively to Hamas terrorists and their families. Non-Hamas members almost never received any benefit from the aid, despite their relative level of need. Needless to say, this is in contradiction to the accepted practice of the humanitarian aid organizations.  Every month, El-Halabi distributed thousands of packages of food, basic commodities and medical supplies to Hamas terrorists and their families, commodities that World Vision had intended to go to the needy.

This humanitarian aid was diverted by El-Halabi to Hamas terrorists also during the conflict of summer 2014 [Operation Protective Edge]. During the fighting, the terrorists received food packages to sustain them above and below ground, including in terror tunnels.  In addition to the financial and logistical aid that El-Halabi provided Hamas, he also exploited his visits to Israel, which were permitted due to his legitimate work for World Vision, to engage in serious terrorist activity – locating and marking [via GPS] sites near the Erez Crossing that potentially could be used as egress points for Hamas attack tunnels.

The investigation revealed much information concerning additional figures in the Gaza Strip who exploited their work in organizations, including humanitarian aid organizations and UN institutions, on behalf of Hamas. El-Halabi's statements portray a troubling picture in which UN institutions in Gaza are in fact controlled by the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas. 
The ambition of World Vision led it to aspire to co-function with secular governments and the UN--a long corrupted organisation, where money talks loudly.   Naturally, it would "downplay" its ostensibly Christian commitments in order to get along and to achieve "street cred".  Instead it has become a "useful idiot" tool for evil.

We hope this does not discourage Christians from giving in Christ's Name to the needy.  Rather, we hope it will prove a salutary lesson in discernment.  Wolves in sheep's clothing we have always had with us.  It is our duty to be discerning, and conscientiously wary.  Christians are not called to be credulous, always coming down in the last shower of rain.  One of the great Dutch reformed theologians of the late nineteenth, early twentieth century, Abraham Kuyper--one who believed that every square inch of the creation belonged to the risen Christ, and is being redeemed by Him--also taught "in our isolation is our strength".  He was referring to the rising tide of secularism in late Victorian Holland.  Apparently World Vision never got that e-mail.

The words of the Apostle Paul to the elders of the Ephesian church must always resonate, particularly when we are co-operating and co-labouring with pagans.  We are to be on perpetual guard:
I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert . . . [Acts 20: 29-31]  
Because World Vision thought it was above such warnings, and because it came to believe that the end justifies the means, that organisation now has blood guilt on its hands and clothes.

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