World Vision in Trouble After Funds Used to Fund Hamas Terrorism (Op-Ed)

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By David Firester, Founder and CEO, TRAC Intelligence, LLC

According to Israeli officials millions of dollars donated to Christian charity World Vision have been “secretly diverted” to the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas. Tens of thousands reportedly went to help Hamas build a base for terrorism.

And it gets worse. Israeli intelligence services say a secret Hamas agent infiltrated World Vision and rose to a position of prominence in the international charity organization. As a director, he was able to “funnel about $6 million per year to Islamic terrorists.

The funds were supposed to go to Gaza in an effort to ease suffering caused by poverty in the Gaza strip. Instead, these funds were diverted to pay Hamas salaries and build up a cash reserve to wage war on Israel.

Currently, World Vision flatly denies the charges, but that doesn’t mean the case isn’t creating a major PR crisis not just for World Vision but also for other major international charities. One of the biggest hurdles these larger organizations struggle with is how to get more and more people to give to something when they don’t really “see” the results. These big agenda groups can do a lot of good, but they also have massive administrative and advertising budgets, so a lot of those funds go toward maintaining the ability to do good work.

With the advent of Internet-based charity watchdog organizations, donors can see what percentage of their gift goes toward administration and what goes toward actually doing good. Earlier this year, a veteran’s charity got in some hot water due to top officials spending on luxury hotels and retreats. That was bad. This issue with World Vision is much, much worse.

Based on the mission and makeup of World Vision, the vast majority of donors are dedicated Christians. To learn that the charity may have allowed funds to be diverted to Hamas – a group with a dedicated mission to wipe out Israel – would be a major blow to donor confidence, a backlash that could take years to repair.

It’s understandable that World Vision doesn’t want this to be true, but to flatly deny the allegations, made by one of the best intelligence agencies on the planet, smacks of short-sighted desperation. Maybe it’s not true. Highly unlikely, but possible. Still, insisting that without proof is a bad move. Instead, they could have gone with a concerned tone and a promise to conduct their own internal investigations with the inference that should something amiss be discovered, there would be serious consequences.

But, at present, it appears World Vision is content to stick their fingers in their ears and hope for the best. Which, if they don’t get it, will come back to bite them in a big way.

 About the Author: David Firester is the founder and CEO of TRAC Intelligence, LLC. He is also an adjunct Professor at Baruch College.  Follow him on Twitter here.