Way back in 2013 a meeting was held between World Vision representatives including CEO Tim Costello and representatives of Shurat HaDin. World Vision claim to be a humanitarian and aid organisation accepting funding from Australian Government. Shurat HaDin pursue those involved in terrorism and undermining the State of Israel, to justice through the legal system. At this meeting evidence was presented showing World Vision in a less than glamorous light, using Australian Taxpayer Funds to support various aid initiatives in Gaza, that had links to Hamas and other terrorist organisations operating in Gaza. With the same regard that BDS protestors show for others property, the claims were denied and brushed aside.
Fast forward to 2017 and the full seriousness of the accusations against World Vision are becoming harder to ignore. The Israeli Security Agency has confirmed claims first made by Andrew Hamilton back in 2013. Full details available here. I always thought as an Australian taxpayer I was paying my taxes to support a bloated inefficient political class in Canberra however in reality I am an unwitting financier of terrorism. I don’t feel so average now.
I hope that World Vision use this opportunity to cease, desist and renounce any involvement in funding terrorism. I am betting that they will deny the allegations and try and find a way to soften the blow. In the meantime I urge everyone to stop any donations or involvement with World Vision. If you feel like writing to the Australian Foreign Ministers office the email details are Chief of staff – [email protected] and Julie Bishop – [email protected]
One of the many issues facing society is the double standard. It comes in all shapes and sizes and does not discriminate. The strict definition of a double standard is “a rule or principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.”
Double standard’s are more sinister and can be used to disguise corruption, create an easy path to power, drive an agenda or perhaps educational philosophy. It is all around, us yet many of us, only catch a glimpse of it when witnessed.
We can all think of the common double standards regarding sexual behaviour, male sexual activity is promoted, while female promiscuity results in slut shaming and labelling with derogatory terms.
Freedom of speech is one of the hottest double standards in Australia at the moment, not helped of course by the many failures of the Australian Human Rights Commission, especially in relation to QUT. How can excluding bring about togetherness and acceptance? I am not aware of any interfaith dialogue that uses exclusion and non-discussion as a way of bringing people together. Those who believe segregation is the answer, need to study history.
We believe that any racist cartoon or statement, should be recognised as such and removed regardless of who it is targeting. However many people, now use racism as an excuse to shut down rational discussion and debate. No better example is the role of Islamism in Australia, and why Islamist leadership, is often not united when condemning terror attacks ? It is not racist to pose that question, we should all be asking why this situation is allowed to exist in the first place.
Locally a major double standard exists where it is considered bad form to criticise any Jewish community organisation regardless of their track record in corporate governance, objectives and aims. We would not accept such behaviour in the wider world but it is acceptable in the local community because ….. ?
Is it acceptable to have many organisations and random individual’s visiting Perth to solicit donations for Israel, when Menora Charity Fund and other local charities are stretched to the limit providing for those in need in our local community ? Do we just rely on our own decision making to keep things in balance, or has the time come to have an open discussion about where community priorities should be focused ?
We all know that some organisations are wasteful when spending money, others are in long term decline because they are no longer relevant and need to be disbanded, some need to be reinvigorated and some need to be held to account because we as a community simply deserve better.
A great example of a double standard, is analysing the discussion on the Jewish Perth facebook group. There are many members of the group who rather than defend their organisations values and legacy, call for all debate to be shutdown and censored, on the basis that they are offended. You would seriously have expected the Australian Human Rights Commission to have been involved already. A poster on the group posted a statement about the Habonim youth group. Rather than defend Habonim, the first and many other responses were to shutdown the debate. Eventually someone saw the light, and actually posted something positive about Habonim. It is really not that hard, to find positive things to say about Jewish youth groups, so why it took so long is anyone’s guess.
Maybe the rage from having your world view challenged causes people to lose focus and engage in personal attacks rather than focusing on the real issue.