Back in April, this reporter, writing for the Bulletin in Philadelphia, flew to the U.S. to cover the Middle East policies of Senator Obama, just before the Pa. presidential primary. Only a month before, Senator McCain, Sen. Obama’s likely November rival, had visited the missile torn town of Sderot in Israel, where the Republican candidate had visited the home of Pinchas Amar which had been devastated by a Gaza missile.

It was therefore a natural question for the Bulletin to ask Middle East advisors of Sen. Obama if he would also visit Israel, and if he would visit Israel, and make it a point to visit Sderot.

Last Wednesday, Senator Obama visited Israel on a whirlwhind visit.

A terror attack preceded Senator Obama’s visit by a few hours before Senator Obama arrival at the King David Hotel. Only a block away from the hotel a Hamas terrorist used a tractor to crush tens of vehicles, until an armed passerby school teacher killed the terrorist.

On Wednesday, after a series of pro forma political meetings with Israel and Arab leaders, Senator Obama helicoptered to Sderot,and visited the same Amar family who had greeted Senator McCain. The Amar home was still in a shambles from the Gaza missile devastation. Sentaor Obama also visited the family of a young boy whose leg was amputated by a Gaza missile.

Both Sderot families whom Senator Obama visited on Wednesday related that Senator Obama kept saying to them that he would always remember the human toll of terror in Israel that he had witnessed.

Senator Obama left Sderot for Jerusalem, made a prayer at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, and flew on to address a rally in Berlin. Yet when Senator Obama addressed matters of terror in Germany, his memory of terrorism in Israel proved to be short lived.

Addressing a throng of thousands in Berlin, Senator Obama proclaimed that “This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it… If we could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York… “

It would seem that Senator Obama’s pledge to the people of Sderot to remember the human toll of terrorism in Israel did not outlast his flight from Israel.


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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.