The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI), a national American synagogue organization comprising 150 synagogues throughout the United States, issued a harsh condemnation yesterday of the Palestinian Authority’s decision to sentence a Palestinian man to death after he was accused of selling land to Jews.

The death sentence, issued by the Palestinian Authority’s military court, was based on a longstanding Palestinian policy that prohibits Palestinians from entering into real estate transactions with Jews.

The court’s decision comes in the wake of a recent reminder to Palestinians by Palestinian Authority Chief Justice Sheik Tayseer Rajab Tamimi that selling land to Jews is considered “high treason,” a crime that carries with it a death sentence.

“The Palestinian Authority’s decision to punish people for selling land to Jews is a racist policy that should be viewed by the entire international community with disgust and disdain,” said NCYI President Shlomo Z. Mostofsky, Esq. “Equating a real estate transaction with a death sentence is unconscionable and must be condemned in the strongest terms possible.”

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The National Council of Young Israel also called on the Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to denounce the Palestinian policy and to demand its renunciation by the Palestinian Authority.

“The United States cannot in good faith engage in a conversation about peace with the Palestinians while they continue to advocate a policy that is so deeply rooted in hatred,” said Mr. Mostofsky. “Before the U.S. can contemplate partnering with the Palestinian Authority in an attempt to achieve peace in the Middle East, it must insist that they abandon these bigoted policies that incite hatred and ill-will against the State of Israel and the Jewish people.”

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.