A Tel-Aviv-based human rights organization, Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, forwarded a warning letter yesterday to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), warning the British network not to succumb to the pressure to broadcast a controversial advertisement to raise funds for Gaza. This comes in the aftermath of the recent Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) incursion into the territory.

The organization approved of the BBC’s decision not to go through with the advertising, and asserted that surrendering to public pressure might expose the network to lawsuits on behalf of terror victims. The letter warned it would be difficult to monitor where the money raised through the advertising would end up. Likely, the group warned, it would fall into the hands of Hamas activists or other terrorist groups.

In this state of affairs, the BBC could be found responsible for aiding and abetting a terrorist organization. Hamas has appropriated many goods and funds donated to Gaza in the past.

Moreover, the letter notes that aiding a terror organization could subject officials of the BBC to personal liability for the injuries caused by that organization, exposing them to lawsuits filed by terror victims in Israel, the United States and other countries.

The organization warned the network that it would consider filing a U.S. lawsuit against the American BBC representative, should it air the fundraising advertisement for Gaza. A similar letter is being sent to Sky News, which has announced it similarly has declined to run the Gaza ads.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

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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.


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