As Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holy Days, approach, Israel finds itself in a moment of introspection and soul-searching, both on a personal and national level. These sacred days are traditionally a time for reflection, forgiveness, and a commitment to bettering oneself. However, this year, the focus extends beyond individual contemplation, with critical questions arising regarding the actions and statements of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas, who operates under the authority vested in him by the Palestinian Liberation Organization, has recently stirred controversy with his rhetoric. His most alarming assertion challenges the very legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, a deeply unsettling sentiment for many Israelis. Moreover, his minimization of the Holocaust, as evident in his doctoral thesis from Moscow University, has ignited further concerns.

One contentious issue that demands addressing is Abbas’s continued support for a Palestinian Authority law that provides financial incentives to individuals who commit acts of violence against Jews. Under this law, anyone who murders a Jew receives a lifetime salary, and if the perpetrator dies during the act, their family is entitled to receive full compensation.

With these matters at the forefront of discussions leading up to Yom Kippur, I approached the Israeli Embassy in Canada with pressing policy questions regarding the Palestinian Authority:

1. Removal of Abbas’s PhD from Educational Outlets: Will the Israeli government insist that Mahmoud Abbas’s controversial doctoral thesis, which includes Holocaust denial, be removed from all educational outlets within the Palestinian Authority? This question stems from the concern that such a thesis perpetuates harmful historical revisionism and undermines efforts for mutual understanding and peace.

2. Repealing the Incentive Law: Will Israel demand the repeal of the Palestinian Authority’s law that incentivizes violence against Jews? This law, which rewards acts of murder with financial compensation, has raised alarms not only in Israel but also within the international community. Demanding its repeal would signify a clear stance against promoting violence and terrorism.

As Israel approaches Yom Kippur, a day of atonement and reflection, these questions hold great significance. They underscore the need for open dialogue, diplomacy, and a commitment to addressing issues that affect both Israelis and Palestinians. It is a moment when one must seek answers and anticipate constructive actions that promote peace, understanding, and reconciliation in the region.



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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: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.