Jerusalem – In an article never before run in the Arabic language publication Asharq Al-Awsat, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon called on the Arab world to accept Israel’s hand extended in peace.The headline read, “An open letter to the Arab world.” Mr. Ayalon called on the Arab world to step forward and to join Israel “to repel the extremist and destructive forces in the Middle East, first and foremost Iran.”

“Iran, the sponsors of terrorists and environmental and climate problems are the issues that threaten the Arab world and Israel as one. Now is the time to look ahead and to create a better future for all residents of the region.”

Mr. Ayalon argued that “we have to free ourselves of past paradigms and to understand that the Jewish people are here by virtue of historic, legal, moral and national right.”

The deputy foreign minister also wrote: “Israel has gone far and is prepared to do much for the sake of peace, but for peace one needs to have a partner who wants it as well. Without that, the entire region is doomed to friction and conflicts that will only intensify…. Israel extends a hand to all of its Arab neighbors.”

However, over the past week, senior Palestinian Authority officials launched the “National Conference for Strengthening Popular Activity” in Ramallah.

During that conference, the Palestinian leadership examined ways of renewing “uprising,” a third “Intifada,” armed rebellion against Israel.

“In practice, at issue is the execution of resolutions that were passed by the Fatah Conference that was held of late in Bethlehem, in which a strategic decision was made to continue the resistance to Israel,” said senior Fatah officials.

In other words, the appeal for peace from an Israeli leader seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

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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.

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