I’m the husband of Sara, father of Noam, Rivka, Elchanan, Leora, Meira and Ruhama, and grandpa to our 12 grandchildren. I came to Israel in the wake of the challenge of the victory in the Six-Day War in 1967, determined to make a difference for the better.

As head of the Nahum Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research, my task is to warn the people and the powers-that-be that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) poses a lethal threat to the lives of every Jew in the land of Israel. 

My total devotion to the issue of UNRWA over the past 37 years has transformed me into the leading expert on the subject, with a responsibility to share what I know with the people and the government of Israel.

“UNRWA poses a lethal threat to the lives of every Jew in the land of Israel.” 

On October 7th, Simchat Torah, I was resting in anticipation of war, which my colleagues and I predicted; on September 27, only 10 days earlier, I had facilitated a meeting between our security experts and key players in the Israel defense establishment, where we warned that Israeli intelligence must remove weapons, ammunition and missiles from UNRWA facilities or face disaster.

We can all contribute to our resiliency at this moment by revolutionizing our ability to cope with an adversary in a full-scale war, while choosing to conduct a calm middle-class life.

The role of our community should be to create a people who can cope with the consequences of a nation in full-scale war, ready and able to receive thousands of Jews. We have produced 25 movies filmed on location in the UNRWA camps, to provide a window to watch and learn what UNRWA plans and intends to do.

In 53 years since my aliyah, I have found many individuals whose selfless devotion to Israel has inspired and motivated me. My biggest challenge before and after October 7th was having to overcome the despair that affects too many people.

David Bedein. Photo By David Michael Cohen
David Bedein. Photo By David Michael Cohen

I’m now working on a task force to overcome the isolation of each community in Israel. My hope is that the people of Israel will learn to reach out to immigrants and to potential immigrants, to assure that their aliyah will be fruitful and successful.

I hope that out of this moment grows a sense that all people in Israel must work together to build the nation jointly, and not have to depend on any governmental body to do so.