Jerusalem; The PLO and Hamas web sites have worked over time in the last few days, proclaiming that Philadelphia Rabbis Arthur Waskow and Rabbi Shai Gluskin had organized a fast day on Thursday (see www. FastforGaza.net) to protest what Rabbis Waskow and Gluskin describe the Israeli “blockade” of Gaza, with claims that Israel is not allowing food and humanitarian supplies into Gaza.

The only fly in the ointment is that there is no Israeli “blockade” of Gaza. What is going on is that Israel restricts munitions and building material into Gaza that could be used for the war effort against Israel.

Only two weeks ago, Palestinian and Israeli business people gathered for a meeting of the Israeli Palestinian Chamber of Commerce, with the report that Israel now exports two billion shekels of products to Gaza and thirteen billion shekels worth of products to Palestinians who live in Judea and Samaria on the west bank.

Last week, more than a dozen reporters visited the Sufa Trade junction where Israeli products of all kinds are shipped into Gaza. Some of the items were luxury items – like 10,000 bottles of Head and Shoulders Shampoo, along with every food product and medical supplies imaginable.

Yet the Palestinian information machine grinds out daily reports of deprivation and hunger in Gaza, ascribing it to Israel’s “blockade”, with stories that Israel simply does not allow food and medical supplies into Gaza to feed the 1.2 million residents of Gaza, half of whom dwell in UN refugee camps for more than 60 years. under the premise and promise of the “right of return” to their villages that they lost in the 1948 war in southern Israel – making them the only refugee population that the UN refuses to resettle.

Rabbi Waskow was asked to respond to the fact that no blockade exists, but would not return the phone call. Reached at his home, Rabbi Gluskin said that he was too busy to respond to the question as to where it was that he had heard of an Israeli “blockade” of humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

Yet Rabbi Waskow and Rabbi Gluskin have managed to recruit 55 Rabbis from around the United States to join them in a fast to protest an action which Israel is not taking against the Palestinian population.

It will be instructive to see how many of these 55 Rabbis show up at the Sufa junction to observe the daily routine of Israeli trucks delivering food and medical supplies to GAza.

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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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. These are NOT rabbis.
    No authorized rabbi of a yeshivàh has ever given these charlatans such title.
    It is not enough for a man to go to a nursing school to become a doctor, nor can MIT certify neurosurgeons.
    These guys, at best are to be called ministers of religion, clergyman.
    Rabbi is someone who – following the CHAIN OF TRADITION HANDED DOWN AT SINAI FROM MOSES ON – has been authorized by someone who previously had been authorized and so on all the way to Moses, to give decisions on matters concerning Halakhà, that is THE WAY to follow on any matter according to TORAH LAW, not according to their own whims or "inspirations".

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