Eyeless in Gaza…writes Michael Danby

August 18, 2016 by Michael Danby
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The Reverend Tim Costello is the very image of the muscular, “socially concerned” Church Man.

The Rev Tim Costello

The Rev Tim Costello

My view is that many Christian aid organisations like World Vision have long suffered from a lack of imagination as to good and evil in the Middle East. It should surprise no one that World Vision’s director in Gaza, Mohamed El-Halabi has been accused of being a double agent for Hamas and indicted in an Israeli court for diverting the bulk of World Vision aid for the Palestinians to that notorious terrorist group. The internal Israeli security service, Shin Bet has a very detailed list of charges against Halabi, soon to be heard in a district court in Beersheba.  Isn’t it ironic that aid from a Christian charity or at least their reckless support for Palestinians in Gaza, has been for all of these Christian aid organisation allegedly used for attack tunnels against Israel. Surely its relevant context the only place Christians feel safe from persecution in the entire Middle East. Only in Israel, in all of the Middle East is the number of Christians increasing as the fighting Jihadist program has chased most of the ancient Christian communities out of the Arab World.

World Vision, a Christian charity “doing good” amongst the heathen Palestinian Muslims, is in fact not an aid organisation, it is constituted as a church. Irony of irony that a church would unwittingly support a Jihadist organisation like Hamas. Hamas’s military organisation has long been designated by the Australian Parliament as a terrorist organisation, as is in most Western Countries.

Rev Costello is not a neophyte when it comes to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and has writing an opinion article for Melbourne’s Age which called on Israel “for the children’s sake, teardown this wall “ opposing Israel’s attempt to protect its citizens from suicide attacks by building a security fence.

As my friend Professor Gerald Steinberg argued in the Wall Street Journal “For years, World Vision promoted the Palestinian cause, developed alliances and provided funds to some of the nongovernmental organizations active in demonizing Israel and promoting boycotts. In publications designed to bring in donations, the brutality of Palestinian terrorism is erased while images of victimization are highlighted. Children are depicted on the World Vision site as harassed by “soldiers and settlers,” and “suffer from lack of adequate education facilities” due to “demolitions”. As The Wall Street Journal, 11 August 2016 points out the Western journalists minimising Palestinian corruption is whitewashed, as is the fact that Israel has been out of Gaza for more than a decade.”

El Habibi


Germany too has decided to stop financing World Vision, Volker Beck the German Green Party MP and head of the German- Israel Parliamentary Group said: “World Vision massively damages the trust necessary for aid work for the people in Gaza,” adding that “Hamas is a terrorist organization, which should not be financed with tax-payer funds.

Now World Vision have as the result of this scandal suspended its operations in Gaza. Wise thing to do.

Germany & Australia have both suspended aid to World Vision because of the charges against Halabi the Hamsanik who doubled as World Vision’s leading official in Gaza.Former Op-Ed editor Rebeca Weisse drilled down into the accusations against World Vision explaining how the Hamas scam evolved:

“World Vision might monitor the acquittals all it liked but EI-Halabi says he simply inflated the costs. So preparing 495 acres for 500 greenhouses netted Hamas $A780,000. Halabi claims WV greenhouses were also used to camou­flage attack tunnels; equipment for farmers was used to dig the tunnels and that he would use work trips to Israel to record the GPS locations for their exit points.



DFAT’s most recent report on its aid program, from October 2015, proudly notes that ‘Australia’s support to World Vision enabled it to distribute 3,200 food parcels, 500 hygiene kits and facilitated an estimated 1,500 emergency medical procedures.’ But EI-Halabi told the Israe­lis, 2,500 food packages worth $100 each and 3,300 packages of cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products worth $80 each, were given to Hamas, giving a whole new meaning to money laundering.

El-Halabi gave the Israelis a far more detailed breakdown of how he says he spent World Vision’s money than tax­payers or donors can get out of the charity or the government and it’s not a pretty picture. He says cash for Hamas was recorded as aid to needy children, which, as anyone knows who’s dealt with terrorists, or with children, is sort of true.

Al-Halabi went on to claim that One third of World Vision’s unemployment benefits were misappropriated, ending up with members of the Izz ad Din al-Qassam Brigades. Members of this organisation received benefits of $520 instead of the standard $430 per month; all this for people who, yes, may be underemployed but use their spare time to lob missiles at Israeli civilians or throw Palestinian rivals off buildings.

Other alleged activities include Hamas warehouses being decked out with the World Vision brand so that Hamas could pick up WV’s supplies.  Hamas kept these supplies for “priority” tasks such as preparing to wage a war of annihilation on Israel. Another being a fake fisherman’s project used to buy motorboats and wetsuits for Hamas frogmen.

“EI-Halabi, named a UN ‘Humanitarian Hero’ in 2014, says he started helping Hamas when he worked at the UN Development Program, paying farmers on Israel’s border to work as Hamas lookouts. He got the idea from his dad, who, as the head of education at the UN’s Relief and Works agency for Palestine Refugees, was allegedly doing the same thing. Weisser Claims, The Spectator, 13 August 2016

All. up Halabi says he diverted 60 per cent of World Vision’s Gaza budget to Hamas for six years. Costello is waiting to see the evidence, which is fair enough. But if it’s true, a latterday Philistine exploited World Vision’s tunne.1 vision and rendered it as blind as Samson, ‘eye­less in Gaza’.”

But worse for World Vision is yet to come. The U.S. Government gifts World Vision $200 million per annum. Can you imagine what American congressional committees will do when they require or subpoena World Vision to give public testimony on whether U.S. Taxpayers money has been misspent on subsidising Hamas to build extensive concrete tunnels into Israel?

Michael Danby is Federal Labor Member for the Melbourne Ports



17 Responses to “Eyeless in Gaza…writes Michael Danby”
  1. Andrew Barak says:

    Thank goodness we have websites like JWire to keep us informed. But has this or will this item appear in the mainstream media? Cmon Fairfax and Newscorp. This is big news. Where are you?

  2. john nemesh says:

    Adrian jackson do you actually ban Jews and Americans from your B and B?

    You did ot answer the question.

    And how do you check on their “Jewishness”?


    • Adrian Jackson says:

      No I banned “Israels” not Jews and Americans in 2003 because I opposed the Iraq invasion (I got that one right) and the oppression of the Palestinians.

      The American ban was lifted when Obama withdrew the combat units from Iraq but the Israel ban is still active. I had an Australian Jew stay at my B&B recently too but my suburb is mostly gentiles and no religion building (all the christian churches are closed due to lack of interest)so it is not attractive to Israelis or religion types generally.

      So the ban was political, not religion or racial, as we know Israel is made up of a number of religions and races.

      • Adrian Jackson says:

        Also the address of potential guest tell me were they are from.

        That said I have never has an Israel try to book accommodation (see above) and any Americans who booked were after the ban was lifted years ago.

        The Australia Jewish guest (see above) told me he was Jewish when he checked in after he returned to Melbourne from America were his American wife had just died.

  3. Michael Burd says:

    Costello….. ” I know NOTHING !

  4. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    Adrian, you sound conceptually challenged! I do know Rhiannon is from NSW. It doesn’t matter where Rhiannon is geographically, or ‘Steph’ or Adam Bandt or Richard Di Natale, it’s the Greens’ policy on Israel that is the big problem, and the extremes some of them are taking it to.

  5. john nemesh says:

    Yiou are lucky to have Michael Danby.

  6. Leon Poddebsky says:

    When you give many millions of dollars to Hamas, supposedly for specific projects, and these do not eventuate, while at the same time hamas builds multiple costly terror tunnels [ oops, sorry, liberation tunnels], and missiles, unless you are a person of a certain mentality or character, you put two and two together, and the penny drops.

    Avi Dichter, formerly Head of Internal Security, has said that World Vision, like other NGOs, knew all along.

    It fits their world view, namely, Israel is the bad guy who is doing its best to prevent those unfortunate Arab people from killing even more Jews.
    Fancy building a wall to keep suicide/homicide bombers out! No; the way to go is to give them chocolates.

  7. Yosi Tal says:

    Michael Danby has been a fantastic representative for Melbourne Ports.He has solved many problems for constituents on a daily basis and his door is always open.Your post reeks of mischief and ignorance.Why dont you make an appointment with Michael and have a cup of Coffee and he can tell you personally about his work.Michael is allowed to have an interest in Foreign affairs ,in fact We are lucky that we have someone like him in the Labor Party who can add so much in this area… The Tall Poppy Syndrome is obviously and unfortunately alive amongst some in Melbourne Ports.

  8. Tom Werdiger says:

    “Adolf” Jackson, you always were and will always be a Jew-hater.
    Michael Danby has been an amazing MP for his electorate. He has brought in millions of dollars for schools security, his office and officers are always available to help any person who requires it.

    It is not for nothing that he is one of the most recognised parliamentarians in all surveys.

    By the way, does your BandB still ban Jews and Americans?

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      What even more recognized that Whitlam Fraser, Hawke or Howard (and that is just the PM’s) get real. What surveys are you referring too?

  9. Leon Poddebsky says:

    He’s not “a latter day Philistine.”
    He’s an Arab.
    There’s no connection whatsoever.
    The Philistines, who are extinct, were an Indo-European, Aegean people, who lived in Greece; the Arabs are a Semitic people whose origins are in the Arabian Peninsula.

    The metaphor used by Mr Danby is glib and misleading.

  10. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    Adrian, your hate-fest on Michael Danby is not appropriate here. We get the point: you don’t like him, you don’t think he should be member for Melbourne Ports, etc. etc. Fact is, he is the elected member (and another posting by you specifying percentages of votes for parties that ignores the fact that we have a preferential voting system is also irrelevant) and is consistently outspoken about issues relating to Israel. Lee Rhiannon and her like are also consistently outspoken on behalf of the Palestinians.

    You don’t have to be Shadow Foreign Minister, or indeed Foreign Minister, to express an opinion on this travesty of aid distribution. It’s an appalling state of affairs and one which should have been confronted years ago. All kinds of people have an opinion on it. So, let’s hear yours.

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      Liat you sound geographically challenged as Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, who is also a former Communist, is from New South Wales not Victoria

  11. Erica Edelman says:

    What will they do? Continue to give. Rap the appropriate ppl
    Over the knuckles saying “we must put better protocols in place”
    And repeat the exercise all over again, year after year, saying ” there was ONE rogue element –
    We won’t let it happen again”
    That will be the end of the sordid little tale.
    The rogue will go to jail for the minimum term after he
    Is able to prove “ignorance “. Or “psychological/mental illness ”
    Humans in agencies like World Vision get sloppy. Easily. Ppl
    Don’t notice the signs until long after the fact.

  12. john nemesh says:

    Excellent article.

    Come on Rev Costello, fess up and show some balls in apologising, and then cleaning up your act.

    Christian world wide charity subsidising the murder of Jews.

    Not good reading Rev Costello!

    And by the way, take down the fences from Gaza?

    Ok….so just one small detail, HAMAS wants to murder all the Jews it can find…..

    is that ok Rev Costello?Then you can send orphan Jewish children food packages which HAMAS hasnt yet stolen.

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