Following the victory of Benyamin Netanyahu as the new leader of the Likud, the question remains as how Netanyahu will cope with the policies of his major party rival: Israel’s Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.

FM Shalom has nurtured a policy that is based on the unilateral creation of a PLO state, following the initiative of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Under the direction of FM Shalom, the Israel Foreign Ministry has formed an unprecedented working task force to pioneer a Palestinian state.

Meanwhile, while Gideon Meir, the deputy bureau chief of “hasbara” for the Silvan Shalom’s foreign ministry, has been declaring that Israel’s settlement policies in Judea and Samaria are “illegal”, taking the position of the nations that attack Israel for the intrinsic decision to allow Jews to settle in “occupied territory”.

Last May, when Gideon Meir was challenged at a Bar Ilan University seminar by Bar Ilan University professor Mordecai Kedar to hear another opinion about the legality of Israeli Jewish settlement beyond the 1967 lines, he would not hear of it.

FM Sylvan Shalom has ignored numerous letters that question the appropriateness of Meir’s statements in this regard, which indicates that Meir’s policy statement is the position taken by Shalom.

The question remains as to what Netanyahu will say and do about a foreign policy that stands diametrically opposed to the policies for which Netanyahu stands.

In other words, the quality of Benyamin Netanyahu’s leadership will be tested in the days to come.

Will he stand on principle against the positions taken by Israeli Foreign Minister Shalom or embrace Shalom’s policies?

Moreover, since the Yesha Council and MK Uzi Landau played a crucial role in Netanyahu’s decisive election victory, what will the Council say now about Netanyahu embracing the Shalom/Meir foreign policy which paves the way for further unilateral Israeli withdrawals in Judea and Samaria.

Time will tell.


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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.