Dr. David Newman, writing in the New York Times on May 21, “How the Settlements Grew”, gives credence to the myths concerning Israel’s Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Dr. Newman mistakenly states that these communities have been placed in “the densely populated Palestinian upland areas”, without mentioning that only one Israeli Jewish Settlement lies inside a densely populated Palestinian Arab area – the Jewish community in Hebron, which is constructed on Jewish owned property inside Hebron.

While correctly reporting that Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin that expanded Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, Katif and the Golan, Dr. Newman neglects to mention that Begin established another principle, which was that no Israeli community would displace any Arab village.

Begin’s policy was different from Israeli policy that followed the 1948 war, when Arab villages such as Bir Is Seiba were overran by the Israeli army and replaced with the city of Beer Sheva, where Dr. Newman lives and teaches today.

Dr. Newman neglects to mention that Beer Sheva is defined as an “illegal Israeli settlement” on all maps issued by the Palestinian Authority. It would be instructive to know if Dr. Newman would be prepared to forfeit his home in Beer Sheva for peace.

Dr. Newman neglects to mention that the PLO and the PA have never called on Israel to remove Israeli settlements on areas taken during the 1967 war in exchange for a peace treaty, as Egypt did in during its negotiations with Israel, 1977-1982.

The position of the PLO and the PA is consistent, demanding that Israel relinquish all areas acquired in 1967 AND in 1948, under the premise, promise and illusion of the “right of return”, as the PLO and PA understand it.

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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