Yonatan Bassie, appointed by Ariel Sharon to set up the administrative office designed to implement Sharon’s plan, invited his critics to meet with him.
I took Bassie up on his offer, and was graciously received by him this past Wednesday, September 8th, in his office, which is located at 7 Kanfei Nesharim Street in the Givat Shaul neighborhood Jerusalem

Bassie, a member of Kibbutz Sde Eliahu, a settlement comprised of Orthodox Jewish farmers in the Beit Shean Valley, described himself as a veteran administrator of agricultural settlements who wanted to sensitively help each and every citizen of the Katif farming communities to relocate to a new community.

Bassie asked what were the concerns of the people who had been criticizing him and his work

I elucidated eight concerns, pausing after each concern to give Bassie the opportunity to listen and digest each point:

1. Concern for Democracy The Knesset has never been asked to approved Sharon’s plan.

2. Concern for Human rights: Section Six of the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights forbids a government from destroying the homes of its citizens. Israel is a signatory to that declaration. In that light, how can Israel destroy homes and farms of its citizens and hand them over to Arab terrorists?

3. Concern for International Law: The League of nations and then the United Nations guaranteed the right Jews to purchase and settle land in the “Jewish National Homeland”, defined by both international bodies as anywhere west of the Jordan river

4. Concern for strengthening the military power of a sworn adversary of Israel: Clause five of the Sharon Plan calls for Israel to once again train the Palestinian security forces, while clause one of the Sharon Plan states that there is no Palestinian partner for peace.

5. Concern for strengthening Egypt – At a time when senior sources in Israel’s security establishment confirm that Egypt has armed terrorists throughout Gaza, Israel is negotiating the possibility of handing over security responsibility to Egypt. The question is why?

6. Concern for appeasing a terrorist: Israel has been negotiating the transfer of power over the Palestinian Authority to Muhammad Dahlan. Only two years ago, The Israeli government released Dahlan’s security file to the Wall Street Journal. That file shows that Dahlan is directing involved in organizing the campaign of premeditated cold blooded murder that Israel has suffered from over the past four years

7. Concern for corruption: The Israel government official who has authored the Sharon Plan, The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Dov Weisglass, has never closed his law firm or his business, where Weissglass continues to be a business partner of the leading enterprises which operate in the Palestinian Authority. Weissglass continues to represent the Palestinian casino business, which plans to develop a resort hotel complex in place of the Jewish communities which the Sharon Plan proposes to demolish.

8. Concern for the fact that Bassie’s office operates without the authorization and funding of the Knesset Finance Committee. I showed Bassie a letter from the Israel Civil Service Commission which the commission’s spokesman had sent to our news agency, which explicitly stated that the Israeli government could not legally pay salaries for Bassie’s ten workers nor could the government sign any contract, unless and until the Knesset Finance Committee authorized the funding for Bassie’s office.

Bassie shuffled uncomfortably in his chair as I reviewed each of these concerns, commenting only about the last concern brought to his attention: The fact that the Knesset Finance Committee had not approved funds for his office to function.

Bassie said that his staff had worked voluntary for the past two months, and that they had all expected to be paid.

Bassie nervously commented that he had first heard about the legal authorization issue on the radio two days earlier, when a member of the Knesset referred to the Civil Service Commissioner’s ruling that his office could not function without legal authorization.

Bassie was also surprised to learn from me that the Israel Finance Committee would not be meeting next week, to which Bassie reacted with the comment that “If they do not approve funds for this office, I will close this office next week”.

Sources at the Knesset Finance Committee report that the committee may convene shortly after the Jewish New Year, which occurs on September 16th and September 17th this year.

The fate of Sharon’s plan lies in the hands of the Knesset Finance Comittee, which may convene sometime between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, the Days of Judgment and Atonement.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Previous articleThe Problems With Jewish Journalism
Next articleA Tale of Two Incitements
David Bedein
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.