President George W. Bush lands in Israel today to continue the Annapolis process and issue a directive: to expel Israeli Jewish communities from parts of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem and to establish in their stead a Palestinian state.

A precedent looms from three years ago, when 21 thriving Jewish communities were expelled from the Gaza Strip. Their assets were handed over to a Palestinian Arab entity that now pummels Sderot, Ashkelon and the western Negev with daily missile barrages. Following that Gaza model, an independent Palestinian entity in the hills of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem will likely share power if not hand it over to Hamas.

Mr. Bush genuinely sees himself as a friend of Israel. Mr. Bush even sees a Palestinian state this as a gesture to Israel.

On the eve of his journey to the Middle East, Mr. Bush invited Israeli reporters to the Oval Office and spoke in lofty visions of a democratically elected Palestinian Arab state that would live side by side in peace with the state and people of Israel.

This is what he has learned from his trusted confidante, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who often compares the Palestinian struggle, based on the Fatah ideology, to the American civil rights movement, as if Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas follow the legacy of Martin Luther King.

Mr. Bush seems to know nothing of the Fatah demand for the right of return to lands lost in 1948; the Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which continues to try to murder Jews at random; the Fatah-inspired school curriculum that inculcates the next generation to make war against the state of Israel; the Fatah constitution, which is based on Islamic law; the Fatah refusal to ratify the Oslo “declaration of principles”; or the Fatah refusal to cancel its covenant to exterminate the Jewish state.

Instead, Mr. Bush told the Israeli reporters that Mr. Abbas is a man of peace and integrity, while Ms. Rice nodded her head.

To sweeten the taste of his decree, Mr. Bush paid for 100 Jewish American citizens to accompany him to Jerusalem.

Amidst the pomp and circumstance of the Jerusalem visit, President Bush’s selected Jewish constituents may choose to ignore the lethal directive that Mr. Bush has come to serve on the state and the people of Israel while they imagine how they will tell their grandchildren that the leader of the free world had dined with them in Jerusalem with a vision of peace in the Middle East.

The question remains: Will any member of the entourage of Jewish Americans stand up to the president of the United States and warn that the Palestinian Fatah ideology represents a toxic danger to the people of Israel?

What unfolds this week in Jerusalem is the classic motif of the Purim story, as related in the book of Esther.

President George Bush plays the role of Achashverus, who had a positive disposition to Jewish subjects who swooned at the very thought of feasting at his banquet.

Ms. Rice plays Haman, or “Hamanette,” as she scolds the Jews who demand their right to dwell in Judea. She counsels her king to sharpen his decree of Juden Rein, while she compares any Jew who settles in Judea to Arab terrorists who carry out wanton acts of murder.

Meanwhile, some of the Jews who fly the friendly skies of Air Force One depict those who rejected the independent Jewish pride of Mordecai.

Then there is the mystery guest. Who, in this delegation of proud Jews, will portray Queen Esther? Who will feel the internal call of Mordecai to approach King Achashverus to warn him that Hamanette has ill advised her king? Who will advise the kind that his decree represents a threat to the life of every Jew in the land of Israel? Who will confront the president of the United States with the reality that a Palestinian Fatah state would be an anti-Semitic state?

Will at least one member of Mr. Bush’s Jewish delegation emulate the message that Mordecai said to Esther that she beseech her king to save the Jewish people: “Who knows why you have come into the palace of the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 5:14).

All this depends on whether one Jewish constituent who accompanies President Bush to Jerusalem will heed an inner voice of integrity to save the people of Israel from disaster.

David Bedein is Middle East correspondent for The Bulletin.

©The Bulletin 2008


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