I spent the good part of a week covering the middle east talks at the Wye Plantation, on the Eastern shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, USA, in an area that is best known for duck hunting.

Indeed, in October of each year, duck hunters and environmentalists usually face off in acrimonious confrontations.

This year, duck wars gave way to three lame ducks who came to the hunt with Israel – a US president under the threat of impeachment, an Arafat who has suffered a series of neurological sezures, and a King Hussein who is the last stages of a valiant fight against Lymphatic cancer.

The advisors to Israel Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu tell me that he has agreed to a deal with the leaders of the US, Jordan and the nascent Palestine Authority on the assumption that their leaders will not and cannot deliver or fulfill the terms of any such deal.

The rationale of the people around Netanyahu for this new version of Bibi brinkmanship has it that the Israeli Prime Minister has gone the extra mile to provide the Palestine Authority with the dignity that it sought, so that it can run a decent society for its own people.

That is because the consensus of Israeli society in the late 1990’s is to make maganimous offers of territory and economic assistance so that Palestinian Arabs will no longer represent a threat to the people or to the state of Israel.

The reciprical demands of the Israeli government seem to most logical and reasonable – that the Palestinians cancel their declaration of war against the state of Israel as embodied in the PLO charter that Arafat has advocated for more than thirty years, and that the Palestine Authority stop providing safe havens for Arabs who will murder Jews and then take asylum inside the territory under Palestinian control.

Netanyahu’s advisors simply assume that Arafat and the Palestine Authority will not fulfill these two basic requests.

They assume that Arafat and his Palestine National Council will continue to communicate a language of war in Arabic to their own people, while talking a language of peace to the western media.

They assume that the new Palestinian schools and Palestinian media will continue to inculcate the PLO covenant to a new generation of Palestinian youngsters.

They assume that killers of Jews wil continue to be acclaimed as heroes in the Palestinian community, and they assume that Hamas and other terror groups will continue to operate with a relatively free hand in the areas under the control of the Palestine Authority.

They assume that the Palestine Authority will continue to encourage the three million residents of United Nations refugee camps to assert their right to return to the homes and villages that they left in 1948, even if those villages no longer exist.

Bibi’s advisors assume that Netanyahu will be able to display the PA unwillingness and/or inability to reach an agreement with Israel.

Yet what Netanyahu’s advisors have not counted on is that the public relations apparatus of the Palestine Authority is well placed, so that…

if the Palestine Authority does not convene the Palestine National Council,
if the PA does not change the message in its schools and its media,
if the PA continues to provide safe havens for killers,
if the PA continues to advocate the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees to reclaim the rest of Palestine,
if the PA continues to allow terrorists to operate within its midst…

The PA knows that it can count on world opinion, international media and, yes, Jewish communities around the world and the Israeli government’s opposition to downplay Palestinian violations.

That is because Palestinian Arabs have positioned themselves in the world as the underdog in the middle east conflict.

Tragically, the current Israeli government has no public relations apparatus in place to cope with such a “PR onslaught” in the near future.

That means that the PR offensive for Israel in the world public opinion will rest on private initiative.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Previous articleWhy is the Shuafat Refugee Camp Seething?
Next articleAl-Ahram Weekly: For the First Time, Egypt Admits Sinking the Dakar
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.