I met the Free Gaza Movement group in Cyprus.

The Israel Ministry of Defense allowed the Free Gaza Movement boats to land in Gaza, after the Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak determined that there were no weapons aboard them. The Minister of Defense should learn the expression, chayim v’mavet b’yad halashon – “Life and death rest in the use of the tongue.”

The group was officially invited by the Hamas regime.

Indeed, the Gaza landing of two boats filled with PR professionals represents an unprecedented propaganda success for the most sophisticated of Israel’s adversaries.

In my capacity as a correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, I met the Free Gaza group in order to find out what they intended to do. For whatever reason, I was the only reporter from Israel who bothered to visit with them in Cyprus before their voyage. Their spokespeople made it clear that their intention was to establish an international grassroots PR support network for the Hamas’ Gaza regime; and that is just what they have done.

From their web site, www.FreeGaza.org, it is clear that the group was officially invited by the Hamas regime to make this trip. They have succeeded in their mission: to establish in Gaza an international support network for the next battle in the Hamas war on Israel.

After all, Hamas has embedded combatants in every possible civilian area. It has been widely reported that Hamas has armed children as combatants. All this has one transparent purpose – to absorb civilian casualties and to blame Israel for each and every child who will die. You will see from the Free Gaza website that they have 300 grassroots support groups from around the world who will spread the message that Israelis are child-killers.

In the tradition of Goebbels, whose approach was that a lie repeated often enough can become believable, the FreeGaza.org people are bringing hearing aids for Gaza children whose hearing has been impaired by… rockets that Israel is firing at Arab villages in Gaza.

It may be hard to imagine that after eight years of Gazans firing Kassam rockets at Sderot and the Western Negev, the FreeGaza.org support network, now firmly established in Gaza, will try to convey the opposite message, and convince the world that Israel is murdering the children of Gaza.

Spokespeople of the Free Gaza Movement were asked if they would request that the Gazans stop firing missiles on the Western Negev. Their answer was that this is “a political question.”


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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: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.