Dear Friend of Israel, dear Friend of FLAME:
I wrote you last just before the convening of the Annapolis Conference — one in a very long series of meetings and conferences that would supposedly resolve the seemingly unending conflict between Israelis and Muslims. Or, perhaps better put, the resolute quest of the Arabs and most other Muslims to destroy the state of Israel and to kill the Jews.
It didn’t take much insight to predict that this conference, too, would, like all others before it, end in failure. Nothing would be resolved, nothing achieved. The reason, of course, that these conferences end without really ever anything being achieved is that, while Israel is willing and offering wide-ranging concessions, that certainly is not the case with Israel’s enemies. They do not conceive of compromise. It is all or nothing and has been that way for 60 years. However they may word it for the consumption of the world at large, they remain true and steadfast to their charter. And that charter calls unequivocally for the destruction of Israel, for wiping Israel off the map, driving the Jews into the sea, and similar apocalyptic fantasies.
Thus, many years, decades perhaps, may have to go by before an Arab leader arises who may be willing to talk peace and who sincerely seeks accommodation with Israel. One cannot really blame Arab leaders too much. They keep well in mind that those leaders who have seriously tried to come to terms with the Jewish state of Israel found a terrible end. Abdullah, the grandfather of the current King of Jordan, fell to an assassin’s bullet. So did Bashir Gemayel, the former President of Lebanon and, of course, so did Anwar Sadat, the President of Egypt, who had brought about peace between Israel and Egypt.
Israel’s Many Mistakes
In its never-ending effort to bring about peace, Israel has taken many risks and has made many mistakes. The return of the Sinai to Egypt may have been the most serious of all. Israel surrendered defensive positions that made it practically impenetrable on the southern front. It surrendered flowering cities and, most important perhaps, the oil fields it had developed and which would have made it independent of petroleum imports for decades. And for what? Sure, there is peace---or rather absence of war — with Egypt, but it is the coldest possible peace that is conceivable.
The abandonment of southern Lebanon, though on a smaller scale, was a “concession” that brought nothing but grief to Israel. It ultimately resulted in the “second Lebanon war,” which caused many deaths on both sides and enormous material damage — most of it in Lebanon. During that war, thousands of rockets — supplied by Iran via Syria — rained on northern Israel. Obviously, those rockets could not have been launched and all those many lives could have been saved if Israel had stayed put and had not yielded to “world opinion,” urging it to abandon southern Lebanon.
The latest folly, of course, was the abandonment of Gaza, the withdrawal of the Israeli military from that area, and the removal of about 8,000 Israelis, who had been living there for generations and had established flourishing communities and a vibrant agricultural industry, based on sophisticated greenhouses. These sophisticated greenhouses that the Gazans destroyed and plundered could have produced nourishment for its population and could have produced millions of dollars a year in badly needed income. Most of all, beginning almost with the very first day of their “liberation,” the Gazans have launched daily rocket barrages against Israeli cities adjoining the Gaza Strip. So far, fortunately, “only” relatively few Israelis have been killed in these attacks, but it is only a matter of time until one of these rockets hits a school or a hospital. What is going to happen then.
Certainly, with the sad experience of the “trial balloon” of Gaza, the Israelis will think twice before turning Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”) over to the Palestinians, as the “road map” for peace outlines. The whole country would be subject to constant rocket attacks on its cities, its vital civilian and military installations, and its airports.
How FLAME keeps the flame alive
As you know, we (FLAME) bring the facts about Israel and about the Middle East to the attention of the American public. We have done so for over twenty years. We inform it of the realities, the truths to which they are not exposed in the daily papers or in weekly or monthly magazines. Our hasbarah (educating and clarifying) messages run monthly in major national media, such as US News & World Report, National Review, The New Republic, The Weekly Standard and quite a few others; in a number of metropolitan newspapers; in about fifty small-town newspapers across the United States; and in a number of Jewish newspapers in our country and in the Jerusalem Post. Our current project is to publish these messages in foreign countries — preferably in Germany and in one of the South American countries — translated into the respective languages, of course.
From the response we get, we have excellent reason to be sure that our messages have great impact and are being forwarded by our readers to their friends and, more importantly, to their Congressional representatives. A source of special pride and satisfaction is that a sizable number of our supporters are of the Christian faith. That is obviously of greatest importance. I am happy to say that they are among the most devoted and most generous of our supporters.
For your information and although you may have already seen them in the major media in which we publish them, I direct you to our message #110, “Turmoil in Gaza,” which is running this month and which expands on what I talked about earlier in this letter. I also refer you to our message #109, “The Deadly Danger of a Nuclear-Armed Iran.” It is the most immediate threat right now that confronts Israel. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, has vowed to wipe Israel off the map. He is feverishly working toward this goal by seeking nuclear weapons with which to accomplish it. It would be the height of folly not to take him seriously.
What we are doing, bringing the truth and the reality about Israel and about the Middle East to the attention of the American people, is very expensive. Our monthly ad in US News & World Report alone costs $20,000, and that is only one of many media, of course.
We work with minimum overhead. We pay no executive salaries and have not paid any from the very beginning, almost twenty years ago. As confirmation of our careful financial management, I want to refer you to a recent letter from Charity Navigator, the premier evaluator of philanthropies and charities in the U.S. They have awarded us once again their (highest!) 4-star rating for excellence and prudence in financial management. In contrast to many other philanthropies, by far the greatest share of your contribution goes for the purposes of FLAME and not for bloated overhead and executive compensation.
We know that many demands are being made on you and that you may even feel a little constrained by the recent wiggles in our economy. But, please do the very best you can by opening your heart and by opening your purse and support our vital work to the limit of your ability. It is money well invested in information and education of the American people and in the welfare of Israel.
Thank you for your support. Shalom and with best regards,
Shalom and sincerely yours,
PS1: FLAME is, of course, a 501(c)(3) organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
PPS: Please consider pledging a monthly amount for one year. It will help us in assuring continuity for publishing our important messages. If you should feel so inclined, please mark the appropriate box on the transmittal card. Also, please be sure to sign on to receive our FLAME Hotline email updates. It will allow us to keep you fully informed of the latest events and insights about protecting Israeli and U.S. interests.
PPPS: Please turn to our website: www.factsandlogic.org for all of our hasbarah messages, for our financial statements and for the laudatory letter from Charity Navigator. To the best of our knowledge, we are the only Jewish philanthropy that freely and without request regularly publishes its financial statements.
PPPPS: This is a little intrusive perhaps, but please consider a gift of appreciated securities to FLAME. That has, as you of course know, many tax advantages. And, in order to assure continuity, please consider including us in your will.