Last week, our agency facilitated an informal briefing for US embassy officials at the Knesset, with experts on the subject of UNRWA policies. The following letter to the US Ambassador to Israel presents five requests for UNRWA policy change.  
 
David Bedein

January 26, 2016

Hon. Daniel Shapiro,U.S Ambassador To Israel

Dear Mr. Shapiro,

It was an honor to host the informal briefing for the delegation from the US embassy on the subject of UNRWA policies on January 20, 2016.  We cordially thank you for your cooperation. The United States, as the largest donor nation to UNRWA, can perform an essential role in the advancement of UNRWA policies that will better the lives of the five million descendants of refugees from the 1948 war who live within or contiguous to UNRWA facilities.In that context, we cordially ask the US government and the US Congress to consider the following UNRWA policy initiatives:

  1. Audit all funds which flow to UNRWA, which operates on a 1.2 billion USD budget. The lack of a current UNRWA audit allows for wasted resources, duplicity of services and an undesired flow of cash to Gaza based terror groups.
  2. Introduce UNHCR standards to UNRWA, to advance refugee resettlement, which UNRWA officials do not now encourage. As UNRWA policy would now have it, permanent refugee settlement interferes with the “sanctity” of the UNRWA promise of the “right of return” to Arab villages that existed before 1948.
  3. Cancel the new UNRWA curriculum, and delete school books which now incorporate principles of Jihad, martyrdom and the right of return – in a UN school system which is supposed to promote the UNRWA slogan of “Peace Starts Here.” An integral part of current UNRWA education in Gaza involves paramilitary training in Gaza based UNRWA schools. UNRWA schools, as a UN agency, should be required to demonstrate a commitment to UN principles of peace education. SEE: http://israelbehindthenews.com/israel-and-jews-in-the-newest-palestinian-authority-pa-schoolbooks-taught-in-pa-and-unrwa-schools-de-legitimization-demonization-advocacy-of-violent-struggle-rather-than-peace-of-jihad-martyrdo/14346/
  4. Dismiss UNRWA employees affiliated with Hamas, in accordance with laws on the books in the US since 2003 which forbids aid to an agency that employs members of a designated FTO terrorist organization. These laws have been ignored by the US, even though Hamas overwhelmingly took over the UNRWA trade union in Gaza and the UNRWA Teachers Association in Gaza in successive elections, since 1999. See: http://israelbehindthenews.com/israel-and-jews-in-the-newest-palestinian-authority-pa-schoolbooks-taught-in-pa-and-unrwa-schools-de-legitimization-demonization-advocacy-of-violent-struggle-rather-than-peace-of-jihad-martyrdo/14346/

http://israelbehindthenews.com/library/pdfs/UNRWA-SCHOOLS-IN-GAZA.pdf

  1. Demand the cancellation of the UNRWA contract with the UNRWA “youth ambassador” Mohammad Assaf, who travels the world, encouraging insurrection and murder. Such a contract is certainly not appropriate to a UN agency.

http://unrwa-monitor.com/articles/israel-resource-review/are-the-lyrics-of-the-unrwa-youth-ambassador-not-lethal/

cc:

MK Tzipi Hotoveli, Deputy Minister, Israel Foreign Affairs Min. ssar@mfa.gov.il

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Assoc. Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center  acooper@wiesenthal.com

Rabbi David Saperstein, US Ambassador of Religious Freedom Sapersteind@state.gov

David Bedein, Director, Center for Near East Policy Research  dbedein@IsraelBehindTheNews.com

cc: Members, Middle East Subcommittee, US House Foreign Relations Committee:

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chair,

MAJORITY MEMBERS

Rep. Steve Chabot ,OH

Rep. Joe Wilson, SC

Rep. Darrell E. Issa, CA

Rep. Randy K. Weber Sr., TX

Rep. Ron DeSantis, FL

Rep. Mark Meadows , NC

Rep. Ted S. Yoho, FL

Rep. Curt Clawson ,FL

Rep. David A. Trott , MI

Rep. Lee M. Zeldin, NY

 

MINORITY MEMBERS

Rep. Theodore E. Deutch ,FL

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly ,VA

Rep. Brian Higgins , NY

Rep. David Cicilline ,RI

Rep. Alan Grayson,FL

Rep. Grace Meng, NY

Rep. Lois Frankel,FL

Rep. Brendan F. Boyle ,PA

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                          בכבוד רב,

________________

                                                                                                          ח”כ בצלאל סמוטריץ’

M.K Betzalel Smotrich

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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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