World Vision Continuing to Fund Terrorism?
Last February Shurat HaDin revealed that the large NGO World Vision, which distributes massive amounts of Australian government aid to Gaza, has been funding a Palestinian terrorist organization’s charitable front. AusAid, the Australian government’s entity in charge of supervising the country’s foreign aid grants, initially suspended funding to the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (UAWC), alleged by us to be an instrument for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP is a designated terrorist organization in Australia and the providing of any material support to it is illegal.
After suspending funding for a month, however, AusAid, on behalf of Australia’s Foreign Ministry, declared it had thoroughly investigated the matter and found no reason why it shouldn’t reinstate its support for the PFLP group. AusAid, while announcing this resumption of funding, proclaimed that it decided to reinstate its support to the UAWC because it was a registered charity in Israel! We were shocked by this explanation, as we had already searched and could not find that the UAWC was listed in Israel’s registry of charities. Moreover, there was overwhelming proof that there was a connection between the UAWC and PFLP. The PFLP’s website stated that it established the UAWC, with the latter agreeing that the terrorist group could utilize its Gaza buildings for training. In addition, several of UAWC’s executive directors are known terrorists, including its director, Bashir al Khieri, who had served time in an Israeli prison for PFLP activities. This past week, the UAWC even put out press releases complaining that Israel’s security services recently raided their offices in Jericho and arrested staff members for their involvement in terrorism.
All of this is going on while AusAid continues to publicly maintain that the UAWC is not the PFLP. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, defending AusAid, gave public assurances that no Australian taxpayer funds were being provided to the Palestinian terrorist group. After our investigation, it was conclusively determined that a tremendous fraud was being perpetrated by World Vision and AusAid against the Australian public. Above all, the organization they claim is registered in Israel is not the UAWC but a different charity with a similar sounding name – the Committee of Agricultural Works (CAW). CAW and the UAWC, which AusAid believes is one and the same, have very similar names but were founded ten years apart, all while having a totally different board of directors. One is indeed registered in Israel and the other is indeed an instrument of the PFLP.
Amazingly, AusAid and World Vision continue to pretend that they are funding the Israeli charity CAW, while Australian funds are actually being provided to the UAWC in Gaza. Realizing that the Australian government and AusAid were never going to willingly admit they had been providing support to an outlawed Palestinian terrorist group, we approached members of the Australian parliamentary opposition. Thus, when Foreign Minister Carr appeared before Parliament last week, the good senators, armed with our research, sprung into action and ambushed Carr with the facts. Senator Abetz, the Senate’s opposition leader, pointedly asked: “I refer the minister to coalition questioning . . . about AusAID funding paid to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, an organization which has been accused of having links with a prescribed terrorist organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In particular, I refer the minister to his insistence that this organization is registered in Israel as a not-for-profit organization, a registration he pointed to as having been renewed on 5 March 2012. What due diligence was undertaken and by whom to confirm the true identity of the organization repeatedly referred to by the minister as being registered in Israel as a not-for-profit?” Other senators joined in trying to pin Carr down on what he really knew about the UAWC and CAW.
Carr was taken aback by the verbal questioning by Abetz and other opposition senators. The FM said he would look into the matter but assured the senators he was very confident that everything had been adequately investigated. He promised he would have the UAWC’s registration documents from Gaza translated into English and compared to the CAW’s Israeli ones. Despite his public assurances, he will be in for a very unpleasant surprise when he discovers there are two different groups fraudulently being masqueraded by World Vision and AusAid as one. Perhaps then the funding of the UAWC will finally end.
Ironically, at the same time the Australian government is providing taxpayer money to the PFLP, Australian law enforcement has reopened an investigation into a thirty year old terrorist attack in Sydney perpetrated by a PFLP off-shoot. Australian investigators have recently flown to the United States to interrogate a Palestinian they believe might have been behind a 1982 bombing of the Israeli consulate and another Jewish building. The Palestinian is currently serving a life sentence in Indiana for his involvement with a terrorist attack against a Japanese airliner in Hawaii the same year.
by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner
Source: Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Centre
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