Following the meeting that took place between US Sec’y of State Colin Powell and PLO leader Abu Mazen, senior AP diplomatic correspondent Barry Schweid reported that US Sec’y of State Colin Powell remarked that the PA constitution was a “positive” development. (See his AP May 12th dispatch from Jericho)

Following his praise of the PA State Constitution, Powell announced the US was allocating an additional $50 million in aid to Palestinian agencies to support Palestinian “civil reform”, including the Palestinian Legislative Council, which is supposed to implement the PA State Constitution. According to a US state department official, this allocation is in accordance with a US policy which funds “non-governmental organizations in the West Bank and Gaza for specifically identified projects and initiatives… “

The question remains: Did the US sec’y of State examine the PA State Constitution which he says is a “positive” development? If he did peruse it and praise it, that is worrisome. If he did not peruse it and praised it, this is even more worrisome.

Our agency received the PA State Constitution from the Vatican, following a briefing that Church officials in Jerusalem provided for a visiting US Congressional delegation. Church officials did peruse the constitution, and were quite upset at what they discovered…

The PA State Constitution places Church schools and all religious institutions under the authority of absolute Islamic regime, with no religious freedom, no civil liberties, no human rights and mandates the “right of return” for all Palestinian Arabs to go back to Arab villages that were abandoned in 1948 and which have been replaced by Israeli cities, collective farms and woodlands. (None of these lands lie in the west bank or Gaza.)

The author of the constitution, Palestinian cabinet official Nabil Sha’ath confirmed that this was indeed the final draft of the constitution.

The “right of return” which is mandated by the PA State Constitution has become the zeitgeist of the Palestinian Authority since the inception of the PA ten years ago.

Needless to say, the “right of return” clause negates the two state solution proposed by President Bush as a formula for peace in the middle east

Our translations of the Arabic language PA constitution, which was ratified by the PLC, can be perused at, in Hebrew, English and Russian.

We discussed the seriousness of the PA state constitution with the US Consular press attache in Jerusalem and also with the press office in the State Department and press office in the White House

Yet we have not received any reaction or response from either the White House press office nor from the US State Department press office to the PA PA state constitution.

The question remains: Did Powell examine that constitution ?

Either way, Powell’s characterization of the PA state constitution as a “positive” development is most worrisome. And his allocation of funds to implement that constitution is even more worrisome.

Where is the US government concern for democracy, human rights, and coexistence in the middle east?

Does Foggy Bottom wish to impose Teheran in Ramallah??


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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: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.