Jerusalem – The crisis between Israel and Sweden continues.

The Director of the National Security Council Staff in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, Dr. Uzi Arad, cancelled his working visit to Stockholm for this weekend. Dr. Arad was supposed to meet with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt before the cancellation. The visit was cancelled as a protest against the continuing refusal of the Swedish government to condemn a fabricated story that appeared in the Swedish popular newspaper Aftonbladet that Israeli soldiers sell Palestinian body parts after killing Palestinians. The Swedish ambassador to Israel, Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier, condemned the article only to have the Swedish government overrule the condemnation.

Sweden currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

Dr. Arad was supposed to fly to Stockholm from Berlin following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Germany. According to the original plan, Arad was to leave the entourage in order to meet with Bildt and return to Israel on Friday. The visit was planned two months ago, before the crisis developed. Arad was also supposed to meet with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit who is staying in Stockholm.

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During his visit to Germany, Arad telephoned Bildt and told him that, due to the circumstances, he was canceling his trip to Sweden. The two men have known each other for many years and the crisis between the countries has disturbed their friendship.

“Israel is disappointed over the fact that neither the prime minister of Sweden, Fredrik Reinfeldt, nor the foreign minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt, has been brave enough to condemn the loathsome article,” high-ranking diplomatic officials said.

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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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