World Vision Australia responds to a claim it supports the PFLP was found without foundation in 2012

July 21, 2017 by J-Wire News Service
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Hot on the heels of the exposure of World Vision’s head of Gaza operations as a Hamas agent (who diverted the millions of charitable funds to the terror group) comes another multi-million dollar terrorist fraud involving World Vision reports the Jerusalem-based International Legal Forum.

The World Vision logo. Credit: World Vision International via Wikimedia Commons.

According to ILF, this time World Vision is even more heavily implicated as it was put on notice of the terror links and fraud five years ago and chose to do nothing despite being presented with extensive evidence.

The Israeli Authorities have now formally confirmed all the allegations made against World Vision Australia in 2012 regarding their funding of the Palestinian NGO: the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (“UAWC”). These include that:

  • The UAWC is linked to the proscribed terrorist organisation the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (“PFLP”);
  • The Committee of Agricultural Works (“CAW”), an Israeli NGO, is also linked to the PFLP and exists solely to allow the fraudulent use of its official Israeli Government registration documents;
  • The use of the CAW’s documents in relation to the UAWC was “intended to deceive the Australian Parliament and Australian Government Relief Organization (AusAid) in order to mobilize funds for the UAWC, which as stated above, is a body operating on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”

The International Legal Forum has sent a letter to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop informing her of the above findings by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and Ministry of Justice Corporations Authority.

Nevertheless a spokesperson for World Vision Australia has told J-Wire that the matter was resolved in 2012 following a thorough investigation by the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade failed to provide any evidence. The spokesman said although there is no relationship with AWC, they are unable to comment further as there is a case concerning World Vision currently before the Israeli courts.

For many years since being first put on notice WVA has colluded with the terror linked NGOs the CAW and the UAWC to deceive the Australian Government into providing millions of dollars of aid funding to the UAWC. Total Australian government funding of the UAWC via WVA since 2006 is estimated at A$9 million.

The ILF statement continues: “The ILF has requested that a criminal investigation be launched by the Australian Government against the WVA for providing false, misleading and deceptive information to the Australian Government in order to obtain taxpayer funds for a terror linked group. It is the ILF’s view that WVA’s CEO Tim Costello had the necessary guilty mind to sustain a criminal conviction because in a meeting in early 2013 after being presented with the large dossier of evidence of the terror links and fraud he refused to accept the obvious conclusions from the evidence and stated “you need to get your hands dirty to do good work”. Thus from early 2013 at least, WVA had unclean hands in relation to this matter.

According to the ILF “It is clear that World Vision is guilty of criminal negligence at best, wilful blindness or conspiracy with terror linked groups at worst. Either way, it is time that a clear message be sent to World Vision, as well as other charities around the world; providing support for a terror organization is a serious crime under international law, if you won’t conduct proper due diligence and ignore warnings, you are putting yourselves at risk of paying a heavy price.”

This becomes even more imperative given the fact that this is not the first time WVA is implicated in a multi-million dollar fraud to fund a proscribed terrorist group. The criminal process against the head of World Vision in Gaza as a Hamas agent who diverted the majority of charitable funds to Hamas is underway. These two serious incidents highlight the need for a complete re-assessment of WVA’s protocols and policies concerning funds provided to NGOs working in areas of the world where proscribed terrorist organisations are active and have substantial support.

The ILA’s request to pursue criminal charges in this regard aims to serve not only the particular justice of this case, but for the Australian Government to send a clear message, setting the bar high in its expectations from organisations such as WVA when it comes to risks of terror funding, particularly when it involves its taxpayers funds.

Terrorist organisations are masters of deception and NGOs working in these risky areas are wide-open to being infiltrated and co-opted by terrorist groups. As these incidents have demonstrated, the risk of the Australian Government unwittingly funding terrorist organisations is too high for the Australian taxpayer to accept and needs to be stopped.

The letter to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop:

“We write to advise you of the following recent developments in Israel regarding this matter:

1) On 28 March 2017 the Israel Security Agency (aka Shin Bet) declared that the CAW and the UAWC are associated with the terrorist organisation the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (“PFLP”). (See attached letter marked ‘A’).

2) On 4 April 2017 the Ministry of Justice Corporations Authority confirmed:
(i) that the UAWC is connected with the PFLP terrorist organization;
(ii) that the UAWC “is not an association registered in Israel” and thus the use of the CAW’s documents in relation to the UAWC was “intended to deceive the Australian Parliament and Australian Government Relief Organization (AusAid) in order to mobilize funds for the UAWC, which as stated above, is a body operating on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”
(iii) that grounds exist to strike off the CAW from the Register; and
(iv) the Registrar intends to submit an application to de-register the CAW. (See attached letter marked ‘B’).

3) On 6 April 2017 the Ministry of Justice Corporations Authority submitted a request for the District Court in Jerusalem to de-register and dissolve the CAW.

These official statements from two Israeli Government authorities confirm and vindicate the 2012/13 warnings to WVA about the UAWC & CAW summarised below.

On 15 February 2012 WVA was put on notice that the UAWC was a front for the proscribed terrorist group the PFLP. Subsequently throughout 2012 WVA was provided large amounts of evidence that clearly established the link between the UAWC and the PFLP .

WVA refused to accept this evidence citing the CAW’s Israeli government issued charity certificate as evidence that the UAWC was “kosher”.
WVA was then provided evidence that the CAW was a bogus charity and a legally separate organization from the UAWC.

Notwithstanding all of the above, WVA blatantly disregarded the compelling evidence of terror links and fraud and continued to both fund the UAWC and provide false and misleading information to the Australian Government to obtain taxpayer funds.

On 4 February 2013 a meeting was held in Tel Aviv attended by Shurat HaDin lawyers Mr Hamilton, Ms Darshan-Leitner and Ms Yifa Segal, and representatives of WVA including CEO Mr Costello. At the conclusion of the meeting after refusing to accept the obvious conclusions from the evidence presented to him, Mr Costello stated that “you need to get your hands dirty to do good work”.

Mr Costello & WVA refused to accept the masses of evidence that they were funding a terror linked organisation and deceptively used Israeli government issued documents from one entity to obtain Australian government funds for another entity. They were well aware that they did not have clean hands.

We believe that Tim Costello & WVA’s conduct constitutes serious criminal breaches of Australian Law including under the following provisions of the Commonwealth Criminal Code (relating to obtaining grant monies from the Commonwealth):

  1. s134.1 Obtaining property by deception;
  2. s134.2 Obtaining financial advantage by deception;
  3. s136.1 False or misleading statements in applications;
  4. s137.1 False or misleading information; and
  5. s137.2 False or misleading documents.

We request that the Australian Government conduct a full re-investigation into this matter, including pursuing criminal charges against WVA and Tim Costello and recovering from WVA all taxpayer monies obtained under false pretences.

Further we believe that this matter, as well as the recent discovery that the head of World Vision in Gaza was a Hamas agent who diverted the majority of charitable funds to Hamas, which led to the exploitation of taxpayers funds and its misuse for illegal purposes, raise serious concerns in regards to proper due diligence done by WVA. This is especially concerning in their support for NGOs working in areas of the world where proscribed terrorist organisations are active and have substantial support.

Our request to pursue criminal charges in this regard saves to aim not only the particular justice of this case but for the Australian government to send a clear message setting the bar high in its expectations from organisations such as WVA when income to risk of terror funding when it involves taxpayers funds.”

But World Vision has confirmed UAWC is still not on any of the major government blocked parties lists

 

The spokesperson continued: “This is a list from NGO Monitor of other donors to UWAC:

In 2014 total income was NIS 43.2 million (~$11.5 million); expenses were NIS 43.4 million (latest available; accessed November 14, 2016).
While UAWC claims to “reject normalization and political conditional funding,” its donors include numerous governments and international aid organizations.
Donors include the European Union (EU), Australia (via AusAID), Spain (AECID), Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Norwegian People’s Aid, Medico, UNDP, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, UNRWA, Catholic Relief Services, NGO Development Center, World Vision, Action Against Hunger, International Orthodox Christian Charities, Grassroots International, and others.
In February 2017, the Netherlands (Representative Office in Ramallah) and UAWC signed an $11.2 million agreement to “implement the second phase of the Land and Water Resource Management program.”
In 2017, UAWC received €260,154 from Oxfam-Solidarité (Belgium).
In 2015, UAWC received €184,989.43 from Spain to “Mitigate food insecurity of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip which is affected by the imposition of the ‘Restricted Access Areas.’”
In 2014, UAWC received €6.1 million from the EU (through European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument- ENPI and the Development Cooperation Instrument) for three programs dealing with olive oil, livestock husbandry, and land, water, and human resource development. (See below for details on EU funding to UAWC.)
Between 2012-2014, UAWC implemented a project in the “Hebron governorate” amounting to €354,489. The project was funded by UAWC (€20,688), the Ministry of Agriculture of Palestine (€30,000), and direct French government funding.
Consulate General of France in Jerusalem (€31,000)
Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (€93,176)
Water Agency Rhône Mediterranean Corsica (€177,000)”

In 2012 the Australian Foreign Ministry released a statement stating an AusAID examination has concluded there is no evidence to support claims by the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) that funding through World Vision Australia to a Palestinian NGO, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) was in violation of section 21 of the Charter of the United Nations Act, 1945.

The claims relate to alleged links between UAWC and a proscribed terrorist organisation, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

It said the then Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr said he would be as swift as anyone in cutting aid to any organisation that was a front for terrorists.

“But this organisation is officially registered in Israel itself.

It is not banned by Israel or declared a terrorist organisation by the Israelis.

Taking into account the thorough nature of AusAID’s examination and advice from AGS that no offence has been identified, the AFP has advised it would not accept this matter for further investigation.”

Senator Carr said that the work of World Vision helps raise Palestinians from hunger and poverty.

J-Wire has requested confirmation from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s office that the letter has been received and a comment if it has been read.

 

Comments

6 Responses to “World Vision Australia responds to a claim it supports the PFLP was found without foundation in 2012”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Baptist Reverend Tim Costello has been replaces as CEO World Vision Australia by a women who name escapes me.

  2. Lioudmila Levina says:

    I will email it to Alan Jones of 2GB

    • adrian jackson says:

      I never listen to 2GB or Jones or Hadley.

      I prefer Red Simon, Libby Gore and John Faine on ABC morning radio and they are all Jewish as a bonus.

  3. john nemesh says:

    This needs to be amplified and put out to as many outlets as possible—especially Christian outlets.

  4. Jack Morris says:

    I am shocked that the Australian non-Jewish media are completely stumm about this whole incriminating charade.

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