A news item we ran on the front page of this week’s edition caught my attention. ‘US charity finances Hamas via World Vision’ reads the headline.
World Vision — that sounds familiar. What came to mind were Christian NGOs accused in the past of being pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.
In my past life I worked for a pro-Israel NGO based in Zurich, Switzerland. We ran a variety of thematic projects; one examined the anti-Israel attitude of NGOs under the auspices of the established Protestant church.
These groups hide behind the banner of Christianity, claiming they’re advocating for equality and justice. What makes them highly dubious is that their form of justice for Palestinians includes excusing terrorism against Israelis and delegitimizing the entire State of Israel. Another thing some of them do: Try to make the laughable argument, as Mahmoud Abbas has, that Jews have no historical ties to the land of Israel.
Of course, the historical truth is that people who called themselves Jews (or Hebrews/Israelites) did live in Judea/Palestine/Israel. The answer of some of these Christians? In the words of one of the worst offenders, Rev. Mitri Raheb, a Christian Palestinian-Arab from Bethlehem, these people — King David and Jesus — were actually Palestinian Arabs.
To get back to World Vision: This month it was revealed that the man running World Vision’s operations in Gaza was a Hamas plant and is accused of diverting funds (to the tune of $50 million) to the terrorist organization. NGOs like World Vision, who have the international stamp of approval — in part of their “Christianity”** — receive millions in funding from Western governments.
World Vision stated it was “shocked” at the revelations. I can’t say the same. After researching these myriad Christian NGOs active in the Palestinian territories, it comes as no surprise to me that some of their employees are affiliated or even working for the “local government.” Take a look at the official UN organization there, UNRWA. Its ranks are littered with Hamas sympathizers and affiliates. The real question is: Why are entities like the United States and Germany still allowing these groups to take them along for the ride?
**It’s important to note that most of these groups are Christian in that they are organized and funded by the established Christian churches. Most of them, at least the ones based out of Europe, are not religiously oriented and look down on American-style evangelical Christianity.
For more information on World Vision, visit NGOMonitor