In a surprising turn of events, renowned Middle East journalist Tom Friedman, known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage, brought attention to a potential Saudi peace initiative in March 2002. While this revelation raised hopes of a breakthrough, it also contradicted Saudi Arabia’s longstanding anti-Israel stance within the Arab League. Friedman’s reportage offered a fresh perspective, especially amid the backdrop of ongoing violence and terror attacks in the region.

However, deeper examination of the Arabic version of the Saudi initiative revealed a more complex picture. Prof. Itamar Rabinovitch, an influential figure in the Israeli peace camp and a former Mossad official, shed light on the actual content of the refugee clause in the initiative. Rabinovitch’s analysis pointed out that the final draft explicitly demanded the “right of return,” negating the perceived flexibility that the initial statement held. This demand, rooted in UN Resolution 194, effectively calls for the return of Arab refugees from the 1948 war, backed by a staggering budget allocated for UNRWA refugee camps.

It’s crucial to note that 58% of UNRWA’s budget goes towards supporting an educational system that has been criticized for its failure to promote peace. A review of more than 1,000 UNRWA textbooks by David Bedein’s research agency unveiled a concerning lack of peaceful discourse.

Despite these revelations, Friedman’s credibility didn’t seem to wane. Instead, he returned with further misinformation, including silence regarding Saudi Arabia’s substantial funding of Palestinian education, particularly in relation to anti-Israel activities. Saudi-sponsored UNRWA summer camps, commemorating Arab martyrs who engaged in violence against Jews, have further fueled concerns about the intentions behind such support.

Bedein’s research agency even went a step further, dispatching TV cameras to capture UNRWA summer camps funded largely by Saudi Arabia. The resulting documentary, set to be screened at The Menachem Begin Center in Jerusalem on September 3rd, 2023, casts light on the murky undercurrents of Saudi funding for Palestinian education.

The revelation of Saudi Arabia’s dual face – one presenting a façade of peace while fueling anti-Israel activities – raises significant questions about the authenticity of potential peace initiatives. As debates continue, the ongoing support from entities like UNRWA and its implications for the region’s stability remain subjects of intense scrutiny.

The opinions and facts presented in this article / video are those of the author, and neither TheJ.Ca nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Previous articleIn loving Memory of Raoul Wallenberg
Next articleSelf-flagellation
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: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.