World Vision Getting the Message, More Needs to Be Done

World Vision International President Kevin Jenkins with Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. (UN Photo.)
World Vision International President Kevin Jenkins with Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations. (UN Photo.)

I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again. If you give money to World Vision, the multi-billion dollar Christian charity, you are supporting the propaganda war against the Jewish state. (Note March 25, 2015: This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom.)

The organization does great work promoting the welfare of children throughout the world, but at the same time, a small number of the organization’s staffers, especially those working in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, use World Vision’s assets and credibility to demonize Israel.

Anyone who has any doubt about the anti-Israel animus that has taken root in the organization, which is comprised of national affiliates in donor and recipient nations throughout the world, needs to listen to a World Vision ad that aired on the radio in Ireland during the month of August.

The ad, paid for by World Vision’s affiliate in Ireland, can be heard by clicking on the Youtube video (posted by activist Tony Allwright) available here.

“Children should never be a target, yet right now children in Gaza are suffering,” the ad states before making a plea for financial support for World Vision Ireland.

The ad doesn’t come right out and say so, but it is implicitly (and falsely) accusing Israel of targeting Palestinian children during its fight with Hamas this past summer.

This is simply outrageous. As Tony Allwright makes clear in his video, children are being targeted elsewhere in other countries in the Middle East, Syria, for example.

But instead of naming and shaming the perpetrators in these countries, the World Vision Ireland’s radio ad falsely accused Israel of the crime of targeting children.

On this score, WV Ireland is not unique. As I stated in a previous entry, the organization’s statements about the Middle East only mention Israel by name and do not refer to the groups that perpetrate war crimes elsewhere in the region by name.

But it’s worse than that. World Vision activists falsely accuse Israel of crimes that are actually committed by people they are too frightened to name.

How is that for transference and scapegoating?

Fortunately, it appears that some people who heard the ad when it aired in August made it perfectly clear that they are outraged. They left angry messages on World Vision Ireland’s Facebook page.

Apparently, World Vision has taken note.

On Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, I contacted World Vision USA and asked if the organization has disavowed the ad that aired in Ireland. Here is the response I got today (Friday, Oct. 3, 2014):

World Vision regrets any offense the radio ad caused. The message was not meant to accuse the Israelis of targeting children, but only to highlight that children have been killed, and to emphasize the impact the conflict is having on children.


The World Vision International President Kevin Jenkins spoke for the partnership when he expressed the need for both sides to protect innocent children. He said, “If we are to keep our moral compass, the world must make it clear that those firing rockets into Israel and bombing homes in Gaza are doing wrong.”


In addition, World Vision has called on both sides to respect the cease fire and work towards a lasting peace.

This statement, half-hearted as it is, indicates that at least somebody in World Vision’s power structure understands that the ad crossed a line that shouldn’t have been crossed.

Now the organization’s leaders needs to take a look at the Facebook page that publicizes the WV’s work with children in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza. The page, which was established in 2012, is a compendium of accusations leveled solely at Israel. It is astonishing.

There are links to articles accusing Israeli soldiers of shooting Palestinian children in cold blood.

There are complaints about Israel’s treatment of the Bedouins.

There are links to articles accusing Israel of land theft.

There are graphics lamenting the impact of the blockade on Gaza’s economy and calls for the blockade to be lifted.

There is even a link to an article that justifies the destruction of the light rail system in Jerusalem at the hands of Palestinian rioters.

But try as you might, you won’t find any articles criticizing Hamas’ launching of rockets into Israel.

You won’t find any links to articles about the forced conversions of Christians that have taken place in Gaza.

You won’t find any articles about the Hamas’ summary executions of suspected collaborators in the streets of Gaza City.

You’ll see zero links to articles about Hamas’ self-admitted use of Palestinian civilians as human shields during the recent fighting.

In my inquiry to World Vision submitted on Wednesday,  I asked if this Facebook page “fit in with WV’s goals of relief, advocacy and development.” I also asked “Why is Israel singled out for such one-sided treatment?”

These questions were met with no response.

What we see on the Facebook page described above, and what you heard on the ad that aired this August in Ireland is wholly antithetical to World Vision’s stated commitment to relief, advocacy and development.

There are at least two entities within World Vision’s power structure that need to take notice of what is going on. The first entity is World Vision International (WVI), with offices in California. This entity is led by President Kevin Jenkins.

Then there is World Vision, USA, located in Federal Way, Washington, which promotes and fundraises for World Vision in America. WVUSA, led by President Richard Stearns, is one of WV’s largest sources of income.

Both WVI and WVUS need to tell their partners and affiliates, especially those working in the Holy Land, to stop demonizing Israel. And they might want to get on the horn with the folks who produced the outrageous radio ad in Ireland and give them a message: Don’t do that again.

Note, March 25, 2015: This post previously reported that World Vision was featured in the 2002 movie About Schmidt, when in fact, another organization, The Plan was featured in this movie. The author regrets the error.

About the Author
Dexter Van Zile is the Managing Editor of Focus on Western Islamism (FWI), established by the Middle East Forum in 2022.