Over the years, Israel has coped with homes and neighborhoods that were established without proper authorization or legal permits.

In 1984, the Israel Ministry of Housing issued a report that over 10,000 homes were illegally constructed by Israeli Arab residents on the Acre-Tzfat road.

1984 was an election year in Israel. Ezer Weitzman, running with Benyamin Ben Eliezer on the Yachad Party ticket, campaigned in the Arab sector and promised to legalize these homes if elected.

After the July 1984 election, in which Labor and Likud were essentially tied in the number of seats, the YACHAD Party, with its three seats, entered the coalition on the condition that the 10,000 homes be legalized. And that is what happened.

In early 2003, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, headed by former UN Ambassador Dore Gold, issued a position paper which documented are more than 6,000 illegal and unauthorized homes built in Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem. That study, authored by human rights lawyer Justus Reid Weiner, a scholar-in-residence at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, can be located at: http://www.jcpa.org/jlmbldg.htm

Ever since the publication of the JCPA study, the question has been raised as to whether the government of Israel will order the demolition of these 6,000 homes.

As this is being written, the government of Israel, during yet another election campaign, has issued demolition orders against Jewish communities that have not received legal authorization.

The question remains: Will the government of Israel only demolish Jewish neighborhoods that have been constructed without proper permits? Is that not arbitrary enforcement of the law against only one ethnic group, while another ethnic group is allowed to flaunt the law?


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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.