On January 27, 2000, The Israel State Comptroller, the highest arbiter of the Israeli legal system, asserted that the campaign to elect Ehud Barak as the prime minister of Israel had established no less than twenty three fictitious non- profit organizations that had channeled illegal contributions to Barak’s campaign coffers.

These organizations, with innocuous names such as “Hope for Israel”, “The movement for better taxi service”, “Citizens from right and left”, “Doctors for immigrant absorption”, were established in 1998 and 1999 as bonafide health, education and welfare organizations, and duly registered as such in the Israeli government registrar of non-profit organizations.

However, the Israeli State Comptroller documented was that these groups were transformed into clandestine conduits for Barak’s election campaign in the Spring of 1999. These organizations never bothered to maintain appropriate book-keeping procedures under the bylaws of the Israeli government registrar of non-profit organizations, and they were all stricken from the record.

Some of these organizations maintained organizational ties to American Jewish organizations such as the Israel Policy Forum, a respected lobbying organization in Washington, which had been using the services of Attorney Yitzhak Hertzog as a liaison to the Barak camp in Jerusalem. Hertzog, the son of the late Israeli president Haim Hertzog, is now the prestigious cabinet secretary of the Barak government has been identified by the state comptroller as the attorney of record who oversaw the registration of this plethora of non-profit organizations on behalf of Barak’s election. Only fifteen minutes after the official publication of the state comptroller report, the Israeli attorney general Dr. Elyakim Rubenstein ordered a police investigation to review the Barak campaign allegations.

Essentially, that inquiry will address the question of Barak’s accountability which has shades of the challenge to Nixon in the 1973-74 Watergate committee: What did he know, when did he know it and was he directly involved?

Barak did not get off to a good start. His first reaction to the Israel State Comptroller report, issued on January 30, was that he was never directly engaged in fund-raising activities. Barak had apparently forgotten about his March 25th, 1999 personal appearance at a $10,000 a plate dinner given on his behalf in Los Angeles, hosted by California industrialist Haim Saban and reported on the wire of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on March 28th. Reached by Raanana journalist Aaron Lerner at his home, Tugend affirmed that he had covered the event where Barak had personally solicited funds from wealthy American supporters.

American citizens who make non-profit contributions that wind up in political coffers are aware that this violates IRS law. Some of Barak’s American contributors may have reason to be nervous at this time.

Another factor that the Israeli police and public want to know concerns the involvement of the Clinton Administration. The Israeli police want to know who was paying the bills for Barak’s campaign advisor Tal Zilberstein, who is retained by Washington political strategists James Carville and Stanley Greenberg, the same team retained by Clinton. The Israel State Comptroller notes that Zilberstein was paid in foreign currency. From where? From private citizens? Or from funds traced to the Clinton Administration itself?

Stay tuned for an unprecedented Israeli police inquiry into the campaign of prime minister Ehud Barak in the Spring of 1999.

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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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