Ryan Rodrick Beiler

Ryan Rodrick Beiler was the Sojourners web editor from 1999 to 2010. He currently works as a freelance photojournalist based in Oslo, Norway. 

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Undeterred by the Facts

by Ryan Rodrick Beiler 12-19-2016
Why would Israel make false accusations against an evangelical humanitarian aid organization?

ON JUNE 15, 2016, Mohammed el-Halabi, manager of World Vision’s Gaza programs, was arrested by Israeli authorities, accused of funneling millions of donor dollars to Hamas, the Islamist political party that rules inside Gaza.

The case made international headlines—and had a dangerous chilling effect on Christian aid organizations working in the Middle East.

Well before el-Halabi had the opportunity to be tried—let alone convicted—of any crime, the Israeli foreign ministry prepared talking points, background materials, infographics, and videos, ordering the country’s diplomats to hype el-Halabi’s alleged confession to media and senior government officials around the world.

“Contacts, journalists, and relevant opinion makers should be briefed,” ordered senior foreign ministry officials, with particular focus on targeting “liberal and religious groups,” reported an Israeli newspaper.

But cracks in the Israeli government’s case appeared almost immediately. The most gaping: “World Vision’s cumulative operating budget in Gaza for the past 10 years was approximately $22.5 million, which makes the alleged amount of up to $50 million being diverted hard to reconcile,” said Kevin Jenkins, president and CEO of World Vision International.

According to World Vision, its programs in Gaza are subject to internal and independent audits and external evaluations to ensure that funds benefit those intended, precisely the nearly half of Gaza’s population living in poverty under a crippling blockade enforced by Israel. El-Halabi was accused of embezzling $50 million, yet World Vision’s accountability process caps signing authority at $15,000.

Undeterred by the facts, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson told Australian media: “It’s like when you catch a serial killer; the question of whether he killed 50 people or 25 people is not really relevant, is it?”

Pro-Israeli, Pro-Palestinian, Pro-Jesus

by Ryan Rodrick Beiler 02-04-2015

Evangelicals are no longer automatically taking a one-sided approach to conflict in the Middle East—and with that change comes hope for a troubled region. 

Gaza: The Persistent Paradox

by Ryan Rodrick Beiler 08-02-2013

Gaza, a land at once ugly and impoverished—and beautiful and rich.

Toothbrushes, Towels, and Tackling Root Causes in Gaza

by Ryan Rodrick Beiler 06-29-2011

We met 10-year-old Noor Al-Abid in November during our first visit to Gaza.

Nakba Day Protests: Palestine's Arab Spring?

by Ryan Rodrick Beiler 05-25-2011

The scenes were stunning: Hundreds of demonstrators pouring across the fence between Syria and the Israeli occupied Golan Heights.

Nonviolent Activists in Palestine Face Harassment, Prison, and Violence

by Ryan Rodrick Beiler 01-07-2011

Last Friday, at a protest against the Israeli separation barrier in the West Bank town of Bil'in, Palestinian nonviolent activist Jawaher Abu Rahmah was killed by http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fmondoweiss.net%2F2011%2F01%2Fde...

Planning for Peace

by Ryan Rodrick Beiler 01-01-2011
In the Middle East, people step in where governments fail.

A Prophetic Milestone Toward Peace

by Ryan Rodrick Beiler 07-01-2010

Palestinian Christians call for a nonviolent movement to end the occupation.

Video: Colbert Interviews Elizabeth Warren on Financial Reform

by Ryan Rodrick Beiler 05-06-2010

Stephen Colbert does the second best interview in recent memory with economist, passionate advocate for consumer protection, and veteran Sunday school teacher Elizabeth Warren. Second best, that is, to Sojourners' interview with her for our April magazine cover story.

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Images from White House Immigration Rally and Civil Disobedience

by Ryan Rodrick Beiler 05-03-2010
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and 34 other immigration rights advocates were arrested during a demonstration at the White House on Saturday.

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