JERUSALEM – The Israel Antiquities Authority has dispatched a letter denouncing the World Archaeological Congress for excluding Israel from its congress.The congress, which is currently meeting in Ramallah, is discussing, among other things, the excavations in Jerusalem. However, no Israeli representatives were asked to participate.

The World Archaeological Congress is presently convening archaeologists from all over the world in a conference entitled “Overcoming Structural Violence.” The congress, which is taking place in Ramallah, the biggest city of the Palestinian Authority, did not invite the Israel Antiquities Authority despite the fact that some of the topics being discussed at the conference deal with regions in Jerusalem where an archaeological excavation is being conducted exclusively by the IAA.

According to Dr. Uzi Dahari, Deputy Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “An international archaeological congress does not act this way.

“The congress came to a region where there is a conflict and chooses to present one side of the story. It is forbidden that such a thing should happen. For example, it is professionally unethical that an international archaeological forum will tour sites without the knowledge of the archaeologists who are excavating them. In addition, the congress uses the names of sites as they are referred to by one side only (e.g. the congress refers to the Temple Mount in English as Haram al Sharif). It would be best if the World Archaeological Congress would focus on archaeology and not on politics.”

The spokespeople of the World Archaeological Congress said that the Israelis were invited to participate in the event. However, the WAC could not produce the invitation that the WAC claimed to have sent to Israeli achaeologists to attend the event.

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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.