Last week, the Reverand Jesse Jackson arrived in Israel to act as an intermediary in helping to return abducted Israeli hostages to Israel. Two Israeli hostages are now being held by the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon, while one Israeli hostage is held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Rev. Jackson arrived in Israel after receiving assurances from Hezbollah that the Israeli hostages in Lebanon are alive and well, and he asked their families to be patient.

The Evening Bulletin made a personal call to him at his hotel room, with one question. Since the Red Cross had not even been allowed to visit the Israeli captives, on what basis could he say that they were alive? The saga of three kidnapped Israeli hostages who were abducted by Hezbollah in October, 2000 speaks for itself: For three years, the Israeli government and the Hezbollah and all intermediaries assured the public that all three were alive. Only after pressure was brought to bear on the Red Cross three years later did the public learn that all three Israeli hostages had been murdered shortly after their abduction by Hezbollah.

Rev. Jackson’s spokesman called to say that the message had been delivered to him. Rev. Jackson then made a commitment: To return to Lebanon to ask Hezbollah for concrete proof that the two Israeli hostages are indeed alive.

Yesterday, after Rev. Jackson left Lebanon, The Evening Bulletin reached his spokesman and asked him whether Hezbollah had provided any proof that the hostages being held in Lebanon are alive. The answer: Hezbollah would not provide any proof that the two Israeli hostages are alive.

The Evening Bulletin has therefore asked Rev. Jackson two further questions:

1. Will he issue a statement that Hezbollah has refused to provide any proof that the two Israeli hostages are alive?

2. Will Rev. Jackson contact the families of the hostages to inform them of Hezbullah’s refusal?

Rev. Jackson has not responded. Instead, Rev. Jackson returned empty handed to the United States, after raising hopes of families who await the return of their loved ones.

The question remains: Will Rev. Jesse Jackson admit that he was misled by Hezbollah and that he had no basis to reassure the families of those hostages that they are “alive and well”?

©The Bulletin 2006

David Bedein (born August 31, 1950) is an MSW, a community organizer by profession, a writer, and an investigative journalist. In 1987 he established the Israel Resource News Agency, with offices at the BeitAgronInt’lPressCenter in Jerusalem. He serves as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research. Mr. Bedein has also reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor RishonPhiladelphia InquirerJerusalem Post, and the Jewish World Review. For four years, Bedein was the Middle East correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered controversial Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Mr. Bedein is the author of Where Has All the Flour Gone? The Whims and Waste of UN Palestinian Refugee Policy. The book documents Bedein's years of investigative journalism focusing on the activities of UN agencies in Israel and the Middle East. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, in commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2010, the agency decided to focus on producing short movies, instead of monographs, and to film each aspect of the UNRWA investigations in a clear and cogent fashion. In that context, Bedein produced two documentary films on UNRWA: Inside the UNRWA Classroom and CampJihad in 2013 Bedein was active in the Israeli peace movement for over for 17 years. In the 1980s, Bedein went to Ethiopia as part of a delegation to investigate the impact of the famine on the Ethiopian Jewish community. Most recently, David Bedein's organization has developed Btselem Watch, with its own website whose purpose is to introduce professional criticism and feedback to leading organizations which are described as human rights groups that operate in the political domain. David has developed a speaker's bureau which is offering speeches and presentations, live or via Skype. Mr. 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, the New Israel Fund, and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Mr. Bedein has also reported on all of these events and organizations at Under the Direction of David Bedein The Center for Near East Policy Research and have produced a number of investigative video productions. In July 2013 they released the film titled "Camp Jihad" allegedly showing activities and interviews in which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in its 'summer camps'. This was not the first time he dealt with this topic. UNRWA released an official rejection of these claims, claiming the summer camp shown, and the people involved are not affiliated with UNRWA. In a November 2013 meeting between US Secretary of State, John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, parts of this film were shown. A review of Bedein's new book, Roadblock to Peace How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, can be found here. Bedein has been involved in UNRWA Reform Initiative, which involves requests of donor nations to make reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein's legal counsel articulated these requested reforms in a letter to the British government DFID Agency which helps UNRWA.  In March 2014, Bedein participated in an informal panel at the British House of Commons with experts on UNRWA education. Since the publication of Bedein's book, Bedein has discovered several new findings concerning UNRWA, Islamic groups that fund UNRWA Jews killed the Palestinian Authority Christian Education Texts Used in UNRWA Schools UNRWA Child Death Cult Education.



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