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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘charity’

NGO Monitor, Australian Jews, Pose Disturbing Questions to Christian Charity Chief on Eve of Hadassah Speech

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

On Wednesday night, the CEO of the charity World Vision, Rev. Tim Costello, will be the keynote speaker at Hadassah Australia’s annual oration at Glen Eira Town Hall in Caulfield, Victoria, Australia. The Jewish Labor MP for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby, on Tuesday “slammed” the appearance, in light of World Vision’s dubious ties with Hamas, The Age reported. Danby said it was time for people to “stop weeping about World Vision” and to focus on how “Australian taxpayers’ money” ended up in Hamas coffers.

Costello, for his part, confirmed that he still plans to speak at the Hadassah event, calling the allegations against his group a “storm in a teacup.”

And Hadassah Australia president Ron Finkel told The Australian Jewish News, “There’s a saying in football that you play the ball, not the man, and so it would be terrible if Tim is attacked because someone may have perpetrated a fraud within World Vision.”

Let’s play ball.

World Vision’s senior official in the Gaza Strip Mohammed el Halabi was arrested last August by Israel’s GSS and confessed to usurping some 60% of World Vision’s Gaza budget on behalf of the terrorist organization Hamas. Since then, World Vision has declared its support for el Halabi, then made public a smattering of information regarding its finances in Gaza, while heatedly denying the accusations of its anti-Israel bias. NGO Monitor on Tuesday published an extensive list of concerns regarding World Vision’s conduct, which is critical both of its political and ideological agendas as well as its financial management and due diligence.

Under the World Vision agenda issues, the NGO Monitor article points out the following issues:

World Vision officials have a record of pro-Arab bias and hostility to the Jews’ right to a share of the land of Israel. Some recent attacks on Israel and on Christian Zionism made by World Vision officials, while virtually ignoring the Hamas policy of terrorism, as noted by Australian Rabbi James Kennard, were “highly problematic.” World Vision, particularly its CEO Rev. Costello, must address this problem, preferably before Costello’s scheduled Hadassah keynote speech.

According to NGO Monitor, a number of officials working for WV-IL, the Israeli branch of World Vision, are also working for vehemently anti-Israeli NGOs:

Sami Khoury, WV-IL’s financial manager, is senior member of Sabeel, an anti-Semitic theological group.

Raffoul Rofa, WV-IL’s board member since 2008 and chair since 2009, is also the director of anti-Israel NGO Society of St.Yves.

WV-IL founder Michel Sabbah co-authored the 2009 Kairos Palestine document, promoting BDS in churches, comparing Israel with South African apartheid, and denying Jews’ historical connection to Israel.

Anton Asfar, member of the WV-IL board of directors, also serves on the board of St. Yves.

NGO Monitor notes that, according to Sabeel’s 2013 Report to the Israeli Non-Profit Registrar, World Vision provided financial support to Sabeel, although the exact amount is omitted. World Vision has informed NGO Monitor that it “does not fund or partner with the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center.” Would the charity organization care to explain this discrepancy?

As to World Vision’s financial involvement in Gaza and the PA, NGO Monitor observes:

WV-IL’s financial report shows it spent about $1.5 million in 2014 on the salaries of its “150 staff across Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza,” 120 of whom work in Gaza — out of its overall local budget of $14.7 million. How are the other employees being paid, out of what budget? World Vision says its Gaza budget was $22.5 million over the past 10 years, so how much of it went to salaries and how much to projects? This is crucial, considering el Halabi’s confession that 60% of this budget in reality went to Hamas.

Also, World Vision says its overall expenses during the same 10 years came to more than $100 million, a figure supported, and then some, by the WV-IL financial reports. So how much out of this amount was used for Gaza, how much for the PA, and how much for overhead?

It turns out that when the Israeli Registrar for NGOs asked WV-IL those questions, WV-IL repeatedly failed to comply with the requirements for proper reporting, and would not provide “details on the transfer of funds to projects, including the purpose of the transfers.”

What if they just stole all this money and stashed it in numbered Swiss bank accounts? Can World Vision enlighten the world and its generous donors, including Australian taxpayers, with an accounting for those funds?

In 2014, the WV-IL reported to the registrar that it made “local donations” to the tune of $790,000, none of which supposedly exceeded about $5,000. When the Registrar asked for precise documentation, the WV-IL attorney responded that the association “is not dependent on any Israeli [financial] sources.” So what are those sources? Would World Vision come clean regarding the origin of those funds?

Finally, according to news reports, the el Halabi corruption was no surprise to World Vision: an accountant he had fired went and complained to the home office that his boss was stealing money for Hamas. World Vision sent an outside investigator in 2015 to look into those allegations, but the investigator, according to the charity, didn’t find anything suspicious. Would World Vision care to share who hired this investigator and who received and processed their report? Were the Israeli authorities questioned in connection with the investigation? In short, was the el Halabi multi-million-dollar corruption known and supported by someone inside World Vision?

MP Danby told The Australian Jewish News: “While this Hamas/World Vision trial is in process, it is disturbing that a local meeting is taking place to promote the contentious Hadassah/World Vision relationship.” He added: “At a time when one of its senior managers stands accused of engineering and concealing – for years – a massive diversion of funds to the Hamas terror organization that has cost Israeli lives, this is not the right moment for a local communal organization to promote the interests of World Vision.”

“Nor is it a time for public apologia concerning what World Vision has been doing in Gaza,” Danby concluded.

JNi.Media

AG Schneiderman Deepens Trump Charity Probe

Friday, September 30th, 2016

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is going after Donald Trump’s alleged using money from his charitable foundation to pay for a private legal settlement, according to an attorney for the town of Palm Beach, Florida, who spoke to Politico.

The attorney said Schneiderman’s office request from him documents related to the settlement between Trump and Palm Beach in 2007 for unpaid fines levied because a flagpole on his property was taller than was permitted by local law. According to the Washington Post, Trump paid the town $100,000 out of the funds of the Donald J. Trump Foundation, possibly in violation of the law.

Schneiderman, who is Jewish, a Democrat, and a Clinton supporter, told the Daily News in August that he had been targeted by “gruesome” anti-Semitic tweets from Trump supporters, because he is suing Trump for $40 million on fraud, in relation to Trump University.

“This year’s presidential campaign has sort of ripped the cover off all of this sort of craziness and delusion in the country and it is disturbing,” Schneiderman told the Daily News.

David Israel

Israel: Hamas Dominates World Vision Christian Charity, Usurping Cash, Provisions, Permits [video]

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

On Wednesday, Christian Today reported that Mohammad El Halabi, an employee of World Vision (WV), the world’s largest evangelical Christian charity, had been detained on June 15 at the Erez crossing “on his way home from routine meetings” and was being held “without access to legal counsel or family visits,” which is normal fare in Israel with regards to security prisoners.

Last Friday, when El Halabi’s detention had been extended until August Tuesday, Aug. 2, WV’s eastern Jerusalem office released a statement saying, “World Vision stands by Mohammad who is a widely respected and well-regarded humanitarian, field manager and trusted colleague of over a decade. He has displayed compassionate leadership on behalf of the children and communities of Gaza through difficult and challenging times, and has always worked diligently and professionally in fulfilling his duties.”

It should be interesting to see the charity’s response to the charges submitted against El Halabi by the Southern District Prosecution in Beer Sheva District Court Thursday, describing him as Hamas activist who has been using his high position in the charity organization to systematically divert millions of dollars to the military arm of Hamas, financing, among other things, the digging of terror tunnels. The monies, according to Thursday’s indictment, was taken out of funds and resources that had been dedicated to humanitarian assistance to Gaza Strip residents. The indictment includes 12 counts of security violations of passing information to the enemy, membership in a terror organization, funding terrorism, participation in an unlawful association, and contact with foreign agents.

The facts included in the indictment describe El Halabi as having a master’s degree in engineering. A member of Hamas since 1995, in 2004 he joined the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas. In 2005 he was hired by WV to carry out administrative assignments at the charity’s Gaza branch. His job provided him with an entry permit into Israel. El Halabi exploited his visits to Israel to locate and mark [via GPS] sites near the Erez Crossing that potentially could be used as egress points for Hamas attack tunnels.

Carrying out his assignments, according to the prosecution, El Halabi usurped millions of dollars in donations that arrived from foreign countries such as the US, Australia, Germany and the UK, and were slated for humanitarian needs, agricultural, education, and psychological support.

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.

Over his many years working for WV, El Halabi transferred to Hamas’s possession thousands of tons of iron rods, digging equipment and plastic hoses, originally intended for agricultural use but in reality utilized by the Hamas tunnel builders and for building military bases such as the “Palestine” military base which was built in 2015 entirely from British aid money. 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. During the war of 2014, Hamas terrorists received WV food packages to sustain them above and below ground, including in terror tunnels.

El Halabi also provided plastic sheets bearing the WV emblem to cover the openings of tunnels, making them look like agricultural hothouses.

According to the indictment, around the year 2012, El Halabi was engaged by Hamas to initiate a greenhouse project, to use 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’s military marine unit.

The Shabak investigation revealed that the main method El Halabi used to divert money to Hamas was to put out fictitious tenders for WV-sponsored projects in the Gaza Strip. The “winning” company was simply informed that 60% of the project’s funds were to be designated for Hamas.

El Halabi told his interrogators that a regular method of acquiring equipment for Hamas was to disguise Hamas warehouses as WV warehouses. Trucks bringing supplies to the Kerem Shalom Crossing between Israel and Gaza would then unload their goods at Hamas warehouses instead of legitimate WV warehouses. Hamas operatives would pick up the supplies in the dead of night.

According to Shabak, the El Halabi investigation revealed much information concerning additional figures in the Gaza Strip who exploited their work for 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 Hamas.

How the Money Was Transferred to Hamas

Some of the money raised to support injured children in Gaza was diverted to the families of Hamas terrorists, by fraudulently listing their children as wounded.

Money designated for psychological support, education and health in Gaza ($2 million/year) was used to pay the families of Hamas terrorists.

Part of the WV donations was transferred in cash and recorded fraudulently as aid to needy children.

Monies were paid out as salaries to Hamas terrorists and activists, who were registered as employees of the aid organization when in fact they never worked for WV.

Costs for legitimate infrastructure projects were inflated, with the difference going to Hamas.

Straw companies — two farmers’ associations and a fake charity for the benefit of the injured — were established with false registers to launder money.

Unemployment payments were diverted to Hamas terrorists. El Halabi arranged for one-third of the allowances WV transfers to Gaza for the unemployed to go to members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. The terrorists received a larger allowance ($392 instead of $300).

Using lists of fictitious beneficiaries, $2 million a year were designated as aid for farmers and diverted to Hamas activists. El Halabi reported a larger sum than what was actually transferred to the farmers to World Vision. The difference was diverted to Hamas.

Project costs were inflated. For example, WV invested in the construction of 500 greenhouses and the preparation of land (495 acres) for agriculture. El Halabi reported to the charity that the cost was $1,000 per quarter acre, while the real cost was $700. The difference – $300 per quarter acre – was transferred to Hamas.

In their 2014 report titled “Filling in the Blanks — Documenting Missing Dimensions in UN and NGO Investigations of the Gaza Conflict,” NGO Monitor and UN Watch have cautioned: “The willingness of World Vision workers to openly discuss these issues is exceptional; however, the answers leave little doubt as to World Vision’s willingness to negotiate and coordinate with armed groups. This raises questions as to whether the group would prevent components of its aid from being misappropriated by terrorist organizations, if it felt that taking a stand would jeopardize the organization’s ability to continue its operations in a given area.”

Now we know.

JNi.Media

Charity

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

An Israeli border police officer gives money to a Muslim woman on the second Friday prayers of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, in Jerusalem’s Old city, June 17, 2016.

During the month of Ramadan, poor Muslim women sit along the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, hoping to receive charity from their coreligionists.

Photo of the Day

Two Jewish Boys Help Blind Arab Man #OnlyInIsrael [video]

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Yesterday, two 15-year-old Jewish, kipa-wearing, boys were walking in Jerusalem when they heard a blind Arab man say he didn’t have enough money to buy his medicine.

The two took the blind man and sat him down on a bench with them and they began to play their guitars.

When they collected the 70 shekels the Arab man needed, one of the Jewish boys went to the pharmacy and bought the medicine for the man.

Afterwards, the man asked the boys if they could continue to play some more songs for him, which they did.

Source: The Two Shollies – Shtuyot

Video of the Day

Kimcha D’Pischa

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Volunteers from the “Leket Israel” charity organization and Israeli President’s residence workers, pack boxes with food for families in need ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover, at the President’s residence in Jerusalem.

Photo of the Day

UK Chief Rabbi Urging Jews to Join War on Poverty

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

(JNi.media) Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has come out in support of Pope Francis, endorsing 17 goals that will form the blueprint for the battle-plan against global poverty, climate change and inequality. Rabbi Mirvis is urging Jews to ask their MPs to sign up the UK to a set of commitments to end global poverty by 2030.

“Judaism sets out a vision of what the future will ultimately hold for humanity. Our sages teach us that we must work towards a world where there is universal justice, security and truth,” Rabbi Mirvis wrote in Jewish News Wednesday, “Yet, although we have countless references in our religious and Biblical discourse to a utopian, post-messianic era in which these objectives are realized, they also teach us that social justice is very much achievable now. Not at some distant point in the future that we might feel is out of reach – but today, in 2015.”

The chief rabbi reported how, “with remarkably little fanfare, world leaders met last week to adopt what are known as the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’. They are the successor to the ‘Millennium Development Goals’ agreed by the international community in the year 2000 and represent the most realistic and unified approach in human history to tackling global inequality, poverty, hunger and climate change, to name but a few of their priorities.”

“There is reason to be optimistic,” Rabbi Mirvis continued. “The world has lifted more than a billion people out of extreme poverty since 1990 and the proportion of undernourished people in the developing regions has fallen by almost half. But what would our ancestors have made of our progress?”

In the end, Rabbi Mirvis asked his readers to be inspired by American author H. Jackson Brown, Jr. who said, “Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.”

Tzedek—The Jewish community’s response to extreme poverty—chief executive Jude Williams said: “The Chief Rabbi highlights, as we do, that the globalization of our world brings with it a globalization of our responsibilities. With 1.1 billion people living on less than $1.25 a day, the SDGs are a global plan of action. The Jewish community should play its part.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/uk-chief-rabbi-urging-jews-to-join-war-on-poverty/2015/10/08/

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