By Michael Danby, JWire—
The Reverend Tim Costello is the very image of the muscular, “socially concerned” Church Man.
My view is that many Christian aid organisations like World Vision have long suffered from a lack of imagination as to good and evil in the Middle East. It should surprise no one that World Vision’s director in Gaza, Mohamed El-Halabi has been accused of being a double agent for Hamas and indicted in an Israeli court for diverting the bulk of World Vision aid for the Palestinians to that notorious terrorist group. The internal Israeli security service, Shin Bet has a very detailed list of charges against Halabi, soon to be heard in a district court in Beersheba. Isn’t it ironic that aid from a Christian charity or at least their reckless support for Palestinians in Gaza, has been for all of these Christian aid organisation allegedly used for attack tunnels against Israel. Surely its relevant context the only place Christians feel safe from persecution in the entire Middle East. Only in Israel, in all of the Middle East is the number of Christians increasing as the fighting Jihadist program has chased most of the ancient Christian communities out of the Arab World.
World Vision, a Christian charity “doing good” amongst the heathen Palestinian Muslims, is in fact not an aid organisation, it is constituted as a church. Irony of irony that a church would unwittingly support a Jihadist organisation like Hamas. Hamas’s military organisation has long been designated by the Australian Parliament as a terrorist organisation, as is in most Western Countries.
Rev Costello is not a neophyte when it comes to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and has writing an opinion article for Melbourne’s Age which called on Israel “for the children’s sake, teardown this wall “ opposing Israel’s attempt to protect its citizens from suicide attacks by building a security fence.
As my friend Professor Gerald Steinberg argued in the Wall Street Journal “For years, World Vision promoted the Palestinian cause, developed alliances and provided funds to some of the nongovernmental organizations active in demonizing Israel and promoting boycotts. In publications designed to bring in donations, the brutality of Palestinian terrorism is erased while images of victimization are highlighted. Children are depicted on the World Vision site as harassed by “soldiers and settlers,” and “suffer from lack of adequate education facilities” due to “demolitions”. As The Wall Street Journal, 11 August 2016 points out the Western journalists minimising Palestinian corruption is whitewashed, as is the fact that Israel has been out of Gaza for more than a decade.”
Germany too has decided to stop financing World Vision, Volker Beck the German Green Party MP and head of the German- Israel Parliamentary Group said: “World Vision massively damages the trust necessary for aid work for the people in Gaza,” adding that “Hamas is a terrorist organization, which should not be financed with tax-payer funds.
Now World Vision have as the result of this scandal suspended its operations in Gaza. Wise thing to do.
Germany & Australia have both suspended aid to World Vision because of the charges against Halabi the Hamsanik who doubled as World Vision’s leading official in Gaza.Former Op-Ed editor Rebeca Weisse drilled down into the accusations against World Vision explaining how the Hamas scam evolved:
“World Vision might monitor the acquittals all it liked but EI-Halabi says he simply inflated the costs. So preparing 495 acres for 500 greenhouses netted Hamas $A780,000. Halabi claims WV greenhouses were also used to camouflage attack tunnels; equipment for farmers was used to dig the tunnels and that he would use work trips to Israel to record the GPS locations for their exit points.
DFAT’s most recent report on its aid program, from October 2015, proudly notes that ‘Australia’s support to World Vision enabled it to distribute 3,200 food parcels, 500 hygiene kits and facilitated an estimated 1,500 emergency medical procedures.’ But EI-Halabi told the Israelis, 2,500 food packages worth $100 each and 3,300 packages of cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products worth $80 each, were given to Hamas, giving a whole new meaning to money laundering.