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 “It is truly marvelous that so much has been achieved in just sixty years, despite almost constant wars and despite having received and integrated into its society millions of immigrants.”

March, 2009

Dear Friend of Israel, dear Friend of FLAME:

We now have a new president. Whether or not you voted for him, all of us have to hope and pray that his wise policies will be able to overcome the economic downturn in which we find ourselves right now and that he will unravel successfully the military operations in which our country finds itself involved.

Many, certainly toward the end of his tenure, did not think well of former President Bush. Whatever we may think of him, it is an indisputable fact that he had a totally positive attitude toward the State of Israel. He understood the perils of Israel, which is surrounded and constantly confronted by implacable foes. He did what he could to support Israel morally, politically, and militarily. He had the good taste, during the entire years of his two terms, never to have invited the odious Yasser Arafat to Washington or to the White House.

Israel is surrounded and confronted by those who ceaselessly plan for its destruction. A disproportionate share of its national product is dedicated to its defense. Its men and women spend years in national service, thus detracting from productivity. But even so, Israel is an economic powerhouse. Its per-capita product and its standard of living are equal or higher than those of many European countries. It is truly marvelous that so much has been achieved in just sixty years, despite almost constant wars and despite having received and integrated into its society millions of immigrants. Yes, we are a great and resourceful people!

In our hasbarah (educating and clarifying) message, “The Economic Miracle of Israel,” we went into detail about Israel’s accomplishments and its vital economy and why so many major industries from all over the world have established footholds in Israel. Like all of our messages, it ran in major national media, magazines and newspapers. It was seen and read by probably over 10 million people. You probably have read it. But just in case, I include it with this letter for your referral.

It now seems clear that Israel committed a major error in abandoning Gaza, where Jews had lived for generations and where they had established prosperous agricultural enterprises and vast hothouses that produced flowers, fruit and vegetables that were a substantial source of employment and of profit. The Palestinians, instead of making these installations a basis for their own prosperity, preferred to destroy and to plunder them. Their hatred of the Jews is such that, just as they have for the last sixty years, they prefer to live in squalor and in misery, rather than cooperating with and learning from Israel and thus establishing their own prosperity.

The abandonment of Gaza was, of course, a trial balloon for eventually perhaps turning over also Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”) to the Palestinians. But that trial balloon taught a hard lesson. Instead of being grateful to Israel for having left them alone and for having lifted the “occupation,” the “thanks” was that in the course of just a few years they launched close to 10,000 rockets on Israel, mostly on the close-by city of Sderot, whose inhabitants have to spend much of their time in bomb shelters. That does certainly cause Israel to think twice or even three times before considering turning Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”) over to them. With their present technology, the Palestinians cannot reach strategic targets from Gaza. But if they were poised on the Judean ridges, all of the heartland of Israel, most of its population, most industry, most military installations and the international airport would be under the gun. Life in Israel would literally cease.

Israel finally retaliated against the Gaza Palestinians, who are governed by the Hamas terrorist organization. Practically the whole world got into an uproar, claiming that Israel had used “disproportionate force” in its counterattack. But that is nonsense, of course. We countered that lie with our hasbarah message, “Israel’s Defensive Response to Gaza,” which ran in our usual national media. We had much positive response to it. You can find it on this website---go to our Ads and Positions.

What we are doing – informing the American people on the true facts about Israel – is now more important than ever. Our messages reach millions of people, who in turn inform their Congressional representatives. We also write and send our messages directly to each member of Congress – House and Senate – every month. I am sure you realize that the U.S. Congress is the best friend that Israel has in the whole world. It is a relationship that has to be nurtured. We are doing that!

Finally, we publish our messages every month in about ten or twelve campus newspapers all across the country. Today’s college students are tomorrow’s political, business and professional leaders. There is much anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on campuses. We fight that. Our work on campuses is most productive!

We urgently need your financial support in order to be able to continue our work and, if possible, to enhance it. We know that you are being besieged from many sides for financial support and that most of those who ask for your support are deserving of it. And we also understand that you cannot support all of them. But please, consider the importance of our work – bringing the real truth about Israel and about the Middle East to the American people. We have done that for over twenty years. Were it not for FLAME, the American public would be much misinformed by the press and by columnists, who are often less than friendly to Israel, the Jewish state.

In contrast to most other large Jewish organizations, we have virtually no support from foundations, from corporations, or from metropolitan Jewish federations. Virtually all of our revenue, our entire budget, is defrayed by individuals – people like you – who do the best they can to support our important cause. For that we are grateful to you, of course, and to all of our supporters.

We are quite aware that times are difficult and that many of us have been damaged, often severely, by the meltdown in the financial markets. So you probably feel more constrained now than before. But please, consider the vital importance of our work. Especially in the wake of the recent war in Gaza, vituperations and vile accusations against Jews and especially against the State of Israel abound here and abroad. We are virtually the only organization in the United States that fights these vicious assaults by publishing the truth about Israel monthly in major national media.

Finally, on the fourth page of this message, I reprint a letter just received from Charity Navigator, the most important monitor of U.S. charities and philanthropies. They have just awarded us, for the third year in a row, their coveted 4-star (highest!) rating for prudent financial management. Very few organizations receive such a rating, let alone three years in a row. You may be sure that your hard-earned money will go directly for the stated purpose of our organization and will not be squandered in executive salaries and bloated overhead.

Shalom and thank you for your support,

Gerardo Joffe, President

PS: FLAME is, of course, a 501(c)(3) organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

PPS: 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.

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