How Christian Charities—Sometimes Unwittingly—Collaborate with Hamas and Other Islamist Groups

A number of Christian philanthropies cooperate with other groups through larger, ecumenical umbrella organizations. As Cliff Smith points out, this sometimes makes for unintentional, but dangerous, bedfellows:

The enormous Christian charity World Vision, for example, has been called out multiple times for funding and working with terrorists in Gaza, Sudan, and Lebanon. In recent years, this problem has been widely exposed; one would hope that renewed efforts on the part of Christian charities would ensure these kinds of mistakes didn’t happen again.

[Another problem], that has received very little attention, is Christian charities’ collaboration with domestic aid organizations that have radical, Islamist ideologies. . . . InterAction, which bills itself as the largest alliance of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the world, was founded in 1984 and represents over 180 different charities. A significant proportion of InterAction members are faith-based organizations, including at least 30 self-identified Christian charities, alongside various Islamic, Buddhist, and Jewish charities. . . .

[I]n 2017, InterAction created the “Together Project,” a sub-umbrella specifically aimed at stifling criticism of five specific Islamist charities that are InterAction members. These five charities have been called out by various scholars and researchers, members of Congress, and journalists for being franchises of radical networks, with several involved in terror finance. . . . [N]ot a single Christian, Jewish, or Buddhist charity is the beneficiary of the Together Project’s efforts.

Another core Together Project member is Islamic Relief. Designated as a terror-financing organization in the United Arab Emirates and Israel, it also works closely with multiple Hamas front groups.

Read more at Providence

More about: Charity, Hamas, Islamism, Muslim-Christian relations

If Iran Goes Nuclear, the U.S. Will Be Forced Out of the Middle East

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in May that Iran has, or is close to having, enough highly enriched uranium to build multiple atomic bombs, while, according to other sources, it is taking steps toward acquiring the technology to assemble such weapons. Considering the effects on Israel, the Middle East, and American foreign policy of a nuclear-armed Iran, Eli Diamond writes:

The basic picture is that the Middle East would become inhospitable to the U.S. and its allies when Iran goes nuclear. Israel would find itself isolated, with fewer options for deterring Iran or confronting its proxies. The Saudis and Emiratis would be forced into uncomfortable compromises.

Any course reversal has to start by recognizing that the United States has entered the early stages of a global conflict in which the Middle East is set to be a main attraction, not a sideshow.

Directly or not, the U.S. is engaged in this conflict and has a significant stake in its outcome. In Europe, American and Western arms are the only things standing between Ukraine and its defeat at the hands of Russia. In the Middle East, American arms remain indispensable to Israel’s survival as it wages a defensive, multifront war against Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hizballah. In the Indo-Pacific, China has embarked on the greatest military buildup since World War II, its eyes set on Taiwan but ultimately U.S. primacy.

While Iran is the smallest of these three powers, China and Russia rely on it greatly for oil and weapons, respectively. Both rely on it as a tool to degrade America’s position in the region. Constraining Iran and preventing its nuclear breakout would keep waterways open for Western shipping and undermine a key node in the supply chain for China and Russia.

Diamond offers a series of concrete suggestions for how the U.S. could push back hard against Iran, among them expanding the Abraham Accords into a military and diplomatic alliance that would include Saudi Arabia. But such a plan depends on Washington recognizing that its interests in Eastern Europe, in the Pacific, and in the Middle East are all connected.

Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy