Leading members of Israel’s ruling coalition in the Knesset gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a firm message Thursday in advance of Monday’s meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington.

Their message: “You have no mandate for concessions.”

Those who participated in the large public morning meeting of the Likud-led coalition, organized by Likud member Danny Danon, called for Mr. Netanyahu not to yield any ground on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“The Palestinian state idea should be brought to a halt,” they said.

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Shas Knesset member Haim Amsalem said his conservative religious party would not support a Palestinian state.

Even the Knesset member who is closest to Mr. Netanyahu, Ophir Okunis, reminded Israel’s prime minister the Likud Central Committee had rejected the two-state solution in the past.

In recent weeks, organizations associated with Israel’s governing coalition have harshly criticized Mr. Netanyahu. They claim he is continuing the Olmert government’s policies of giving the U.S. the impression Israel would allow the establishment of a sovereign, independent Palestinian state to the east.

They fear doing so would foster the same sort of terror threat that Israel now faces from Gaza.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com


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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.