The shortsightedness of World Vision
When a Christian publication such as World Magazine exposes another Christian organization's ties to terrorist organizations, concerned Christians in America, and in particular Delaware and the greater Philadelphia area, should take notice.
World Magazine's mission, as stated on its website, is to offer "biblically objective journalism that informs, educates and inspires." It certainly did that in Mindy Belz's recent article "Checking It Twice" that laid bare the Christian international charitable organization World Vision's refusal to disclose its ties to the Islamic Relief Agency (IRA), a Treasury Department-designated terrorist organization – even after one of only four countries named a state sponsor of terror by the United States.
When questioned by World Magazine, World Vision denied ever knowing that it worked with an organization linked to terrorism and maintained that "there was no indication that IRA had any possible ties to an alleged terrorist-supporting organization." Except that there is, as a simple search on the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)'s website clearly shows.
This bobbing and weaving by World Vision comes as no surprise to Orteil Gay, a pastor at a church in Philadelphia. "Personally, I do not give donations to World Vision, I support organizations that have an A-1 rating when it comes to being financially transparent and their funds are dispersed to the designated needy. I don't support organizations that take our funds to support the endeavors of Hamas and al-Qaeda."
Susan Warner, cofounder and former director of the Christian group Olive Tree Ministries in Wilmington, Delaware, and a distinguished senior fellow of the Gatestone Institute, has kept her eye on World Vision for quite some time. She points out that NGO Monitor, a group dedicated to producing and distributing critical analysis of international and local NGOs, disclosed that the manager of operations for World Vision in Gaza, Mohammad El Halabi, was a Hamas terrorist and was arrested by Israeli security for diverting approximately $50 million of the World Vision's Gaza budget to Hamas for tunnels and other terrorist activity. According to the charges, El-Halabi created humanitarian projects and fictitious agricultural associations to act as a cover for the hijacking of monies and materials for Hamas. As of July 5, 2018, the trial was still ongoing.
Ms. Warner notes that World Vision makes no bones about its exclusive ministry on behalf of poor Arab children but specifically does not serve the needs of poor Israeli-Jewish children, of which 14.1% live below the poverty line.
Charles E. McCracken, international Bible teacher and current executive director of the Olive Tree Alliance, has also been a skeptic about World Vision. "I've always sensed a level of anti-Semitism and/or anti-Zionist sentiments through their literature and people with closer associations to the organization. Unfortunately, Christians are increasingly being sucked into the "Palestinian" narrative that ignores the oppression inflicted upon them by their own leadership and blaming all ills on the State of Israel."
The bottom-line message to folks who wish to donate funds to humanitarian Christian organizations is to find the truth of where and how their donations will be dispersed and seek bona fide assurance that their monies will be designated to the causes they hold dear.
Leonard Getz, CPA is a freelance writer in Philadelphia whose worked has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Algemeiner, American Thinker, and other publications.