On July 15th, 2007, Israel Resource News Agency placed four [unanswered] questions of consequence to the governments of the United States and Israel concerning the Fatah:

1. The Israel Ministry of Justice and the United States Department of Justice both define the Fatah organization as an illegal terrorist organization. The Israeli Ministry of Justice made that determination on March 1st, 1980. The US Department of Justice made that determination on March 23rd, 2002. Since the US and Israel now deal directly with the Fatah, why has neither country changed the legal status of the Fatah? Shouldn’t Fatah’s legal status as a terrorist organization be amended before the US and Israel move forward with recognition and negotiation with the Fatah?

2. In September 1993 on the White House lawn, the Fatah signed the Declaration of Principles of the Oslo accords (for recognition of Israel and against terrorism). However, in October 1993, the Fatah would not ratify these accords. Should not the Fatah be asked to finally ratify the 1993 “Declaration of Principles” against terror and violence before the US and Israel proceed with recognition and negotiation with the Fatah?

3. As an integral part of the Oslo accords, the Fatah promised to cancel its covenant that calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. The Palestine National Council convened in 1996 and 1998 to discuss that covenant yet has never canceled it. Should not the US and Israel insist that the Fatah cancel its covenant before proceeding with recognition and negotiation with the Fatah?

4. According to the studies of the Fatah’s most recent Palestinian Authority school books, authored by Noa Meridor (see www.intelligence.org.il) and by Dr. Arnon Groiss (see www.edume.org), the new school books of the PA continue to demonize Israeli Jews and prepare Palestinian children for war. Should the US and Israel not insist that the Fatah cancel its curriculum before proceeding with recognition and negotiation with the Fatah?

Neither the American or the Israeli governments will answer any of these questions.

Spokespeople of both governments say – off the record – they wish that our news agency would not ask such questions.

Hardly anyone asked these questions of the Fatah at the outset of the peace process. As a result, the Fatah got away with murder.

Indeed, this past July 26th, the Philadelphia Bulletin published a list of 328 men, women and children who were murdered by the Fatah over the past seven years

Indeed, during the “cease-fire” between November 21st and May 15th over the past year, the Fatah took credit for the majority of the rockets fired from Gaza into Sderot and the Western Negev region of Israel.

The Fatah also took credit for the bombardment of Sderot on the day before the Rosh HaShanah New Jewish New Year last week.

What remains clear is that both American and Israeli governments cut corners, acting as if the Fatah is something other than what it is.

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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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