There is at least one major Israeli nongovernmental organization (NGO) network active in Geneva, Switzerland this week promoting the Durban II racism conference’s anti-Israel agenda.

It is doing so despite efforts by the Israeli government and leading Jewish organizations to tone down the rhetoric.

Ittijah, the Israeli Arab umbrella group for Israeli Arab NGOs working with Adalah, issued a press release during the conference that proclaimed, “Arab organizations will not let Israel whitewash this conference.” The group announced that it had sent 10 Israeli Arab leaders to lobby participants at the conference against the “racist character of the state of Israel.”

Adalah is an Israeli Arab organization funded by the predominately Jewish Washington, D.C.-based New Israel Fund.

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The Ittijah statement, reminiscent of the “Zionism is racism resolution” adopted by the U.N. in 1975 and repealed in 1991, claims that the “Jewish character of the state of Israel contradicts international law.”

It bases this claim on Israel’s refusal to allow those Palestinians, and their descendants, who were forced to leave their villages during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence “the right of return.”

These refugees have wallowed in U.N.-run refugee camps since 1949.

The Ittijah press release also accuses the American government and the European Union of crimes against the Palestinian people by succumbing to the “Israeli blackmail… to deny the Durban II conference any real power.”

A senior Israeli security official said Israeli security will question the 10 Israeli Arab citizens from the Ittijah delegation when they return from Geneva to determine if any of them met with Iranian officials and if they might be a security risk to the State of Israel.

David Bedein can be reached at


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