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Spanish Government to Fund Freeze Continuation Campaign

Journalist David Bedein reveals that Spain will fund Israeli left's NGO campaign to continue the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/11/2010, 3:18 AM / Last Update: 8/11/2010, 3:12 AM

Flash 90

During a meeting which took place about ten days ago between left oriented organizations and representatives of the Spanish government, it was decided that a campaign funded by the Spanish government will begin in the coming days to promote the continuation of the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. The details on the new campaign were revealed by David Bedein, journalist and Director of Israel Resource News Agency and Center for Near East Policy Research.

During an interview with Arutz7 on Tuesday, Bedein said that the meeting was attended by members of the Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, the Ford Foundation, the Geneva Initiative, representatives of an Israel public relations firm, and representatives of the Spanish government.

"Peace Now is making plans to influence the public to continue the freeze and the Spanish government will fund it," said Bedein, and added that the information on the resolution has been obtained from reliable sources. He said that at the moment it is unclear how much money is involved, but added that the Peres Center is acting in full cooperation with President Peres and working with fifty different associations to promote its political goals.

Bedein passed on the information to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in a letter in which he requested information on what the Israeli government is doing to stop the intervention of a foreign state in the official policy decisions of the Israeli government. Bedein said that this move is extremely serious since this is not a private initiative, but rather a foreign country's government interfering in Israel’s internal affairs. The fact that Israeli based organizations, including one associated with President Peres, are working with a foreign power, is extremely problematic.

"It is crossing a line when governments abroad express their opinion on what is going on,” said Bedein. “It is unacceptable when a government gives money to a political body. My job as a journalist is to raise the issue and the public must express its opinion [about it] to the government.”

Meanwhile, it was reported at the beginning of the week, that the Yesha Council sent a letter to tens of thousands of homes in recent days, as part of a campaign to ensure that the government remains true to its various pledges to resume Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria immediately after the freeze expires.

The letter features direct quotes from top government ministers as well as Netanyahu himself, who said on Dec. 1, 2009, “I wish to clarify: The decision to suspend new construction in Judea and Samaria is one-time and temporary. Precisely as is written in the Cabinet decision, and as I have clarified in both closed and open forums, we will resume building at the end of the period.”

In addition to the letters, thousands of SMS messages, as well as recordings of the promises of Netanyahu and Begin, have been sent to Likud members and media personalities around the country.

The Netanyahu government imposed the ten-month freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria last November, after it was pressured bythe Obama Administration, in order to motivate the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) of Fatah, to agree to direct talks with Israel.