US Ambassador to the UN

Dear Ambassador Power,

Welcome to Jerusalem!

At a time of continued deadlock in political negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, you can use thie leverage of the US, which donates $400 million to UNRWA each year — 33% of the UNRWA budget, to launch an effort to find solutions to the humanitarian plight of the five million of descendents of the refugees from the 1948 war who still live around   UNRWA facilities.Instead of just throwing money at UNRWA, The US could assert its leadership amongst donor nations to advance UNRWA policies that could improve living conditions of UNRWA refugee residents…and offer a realistic humanitarian alternative to the “right of return” mantra that has been drummed into the minds of half a million UNRWA students… as an excuse to allow for the status quo of UNRWA refugee status for perpetuity. In that context, you, as the US ambassador, to address six UNRWA challenges, which could guide UNRWA policy reform.

  • The US could work with all donor nations to ask for an audit of donor funds that flow to UNRWA. This would address widespread documented reports of wasted resources, duplicity of services and the undesired flow of cash to Gaza-based terror groups, which gained control over UNRWA operations in Gaza over the past 18 years.
  • The US, as the largest donor to UNRWA, could introduce UNHCR standards to UNRWA, to advance the resettlement of Arab refugees, after 67 years. Current UNRWA policy is that refugee resettlement would interfere with the “right of return” to Arab villages that existed before 1948.
  1. The US could ask fellow donor nations to reconsider the new UNRWA curriculum, which incorporate principles of Jihad, martyrdom and an assurance of the right of return ‘ by force of arms – in a UN school system which is supposed to promote the UNRWA slogan of “Peace Starts Here.”

This is your opportunity to take an initiative during the final year of the Obama Administration to address a pressing humanitarian issue that can be solved.

David Bedein, MSW*

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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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