On Thursday, May 13, 1999, Ehud Barak had scheduled to the Etzion communities, south of Bethlehem, a settlement area that had once been thought to lie within Israel’s national consensus.

However, on Sunday, May 9th, Barak met with a delegation of the Israeli Communist and Arab Nationalist political parties, both of whom favor the forceable expulsion of ALL Jews from ALL areas taken by Israel in 1967.

At his meeting, Barak requested and received the endorsement of the Israeli Communist and Arab Nationalist political parties.

On May 10th, Barak announced that Labor, Meretz, and Israeli Communist and the Arab Nationalist political parties would formally organize “joint” May 17th election day campaign committee to bring out the vote.

Meretz platform also calls for withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and for the dismantling of their Jewish communities.

As a first gesture to his new political coalition, Barak announced the cancellation of his planned visit to the Etzion bloc of settlements.

The Israel Broadasting Authority reported that the reason for Barak’s cancellation of his visit was due to threats to “explode his visit”. I checked with every Israeli reporter. None had heard of any such “threats”.

“Threats” were not the reason for the cancellation of Barak’s visit.

Ten people carrying signs would never deter an Israeli politician from going anywhere, and there is no evidence any threat issued from the Etzion residents at any time against Barak.

It should be noted that former Deputy Foreign Minister Yose Beillin, now running alongside Barak, declared in a taped briefing at the Israel Foreign Ministry on December 8, 1993 that all residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza who decided to remain within their settlements would be forced to live under the rule of the Palestinian Authority. That tape remains on my desk.

If there was ever a doubt as to Barak’s policy and attitude to the Jewish communities of Judea, Samaria and Katif, that doubt was removed yesterday.

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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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