Arutz Sheva forced to publish denial over “groundless”, “politically motivated” attack on UNRWA by David Bedein

04 August 2011

4 August 2011
Jerusalem

The Israeli radio station and news website, Arutz Sheva, has been forced to publish a denial of an article by David Bedein, in which he made “staggeringly ignorant claims” and “baseless allegations” against UNRWA. The retraction says that “no evidence” had been produced by Bedein, who claimed that UNRWA was seeking to impose a “Fourth Reich upon the Jews” and that UNRWA’s “raison d’etre” involved “a genocide against the Jews”. The denial posted on the Arutz Sheva site described Bedein’s work as shoddy and “politically motivated”.

“I am delighted Arutz Sheva has seen the error of its ways and has published a denial to this typically groundless and wildly misleading article by David Bedein,” said UNRWA spokesman, Chris Gunness. “Bedein has long made completely baseless and politically motivated attacks on UNRWA and I am delighted that even those tiny sectors of the Israeli media that have published him are now realising just how baseless his allegations are. It proves what we have been saying all along. With this denial, the credibility of Mr Bedein is likely to have been damaged to the point where few will ever again take his work seriously.”

Before the new Arutz Sheva denial, the latest efforts of Bedein’s organisation were presented to journalists in Jerusalem. However, media outlets such as the Jerusalem Post refused to publish articles based on their findings. “This just compounds a dismal track record,” said Gunness. “After his last film about a year ago, the Haaretz newspaper published a prominent front page story, describing it as a stack of lies. Now this; what more can one say?”

Ends

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org

Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 56 million.

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