World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy charity that promotes child welfare throughout the world. The organization was founded in the United States in the early 1950s by an Evangelical Protestant by the name of Robert Pierce.
In the years since its founding, World Vision has grown into a multi-billion dollar organization with affiliates in donor and recipient countries throughout the world that are organized under an umbrella organization called World Vision International. WV's affiliated in America remains a significant source of the organization's income.
In August, World Vision Ireland broadcast a radio ad that implicitly accused Israel of targeting Palestinian children during its fight against Hamas this past summer. Children should never be targeted, yet right now children are suffering in Gaza, the ad states. The accusation is not made directly, but the implication is clear: Israel is targeting children in Gaza, and that's why they are suffering.
An activist who goes by the name of Tony Allwright recorded the ad and posted it in on Youtube
and criticized World Vision Ireland for airing the ad. Allwright was not alone. World Vision supporters complained about the ad on World Vision Ireland's Facebook page.
CAMERA contacted World Vision USA on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 to ask if the organization has disavowed the ad. Earlier today, CAMERA received the following response from a World Vision USA staffer in Washington, D.C.
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.
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.
It should be noted that World Vision did not apologize for the ad itself, but merely stated that it regrets any offensive the radio ad caused. Nevertheless, it is somewhat heartening to see that someone in World Vision's power structure is paying attention to the criticism leveled at the organization they lead.