With two weeks left before Pope Benedict XVI’s scheduled trip to Israel, set to take place May 11 to 15, the Vatican has announced it has signed a deal with the Arab League outlining cooperation aimed at promoting “peace, security and stability.”

Vatican senior diplomat Dominique Mamberti and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mussa signed the agreement.

However, what the Vatican did not mention in its press statement was the League of Arab States remains in a formal and active state of war with Israel.

The league declared a war to destroy the nascent state of Israel on the day that Israel declared its independence following the end of the British Mandate, on May 14, 1948. A spokesman for the Washington office of the Arab League confirms the international organization has never rescinded that state of war.

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In March 2002, the league announced its first peace plan by making peace with Israel conditional on a full Israeli withdrawal to the territory it held prior to 1967, the expulsion of Jews from the Old City of Jerusalem and Israel’s recognition of the Arab refugees’ rights to the homes and villages that they left in 1948 war.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said last week Israel views the league’s plan as a prescription for its destruction.

In that context, a source in the Israel Foreign Ministry says that Israel has little to rejoice from the Vatican signing a new agreement with the Arab League, because the league remains committed to its 61-year-old war to destroy Israel.

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.