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Should Israel Give Up the Golan?
June, 2000

Dear Friend of Israel, dear Friend of FLAME:

I would think that you, just like we, are observing with increasing concern the happenings in Israel and especially the so-called "negotiations" with Syria.

In those negotiations, Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, has expressed his willingness to return the entire Golan to Syria in exchange for Syrian expressions of peaceful intentions and the promise of "normalization" of relationships.

It is hard to understand how people as smart and as accomplished as the Israelis would allow themselves to fall into such a trap.

It is the clear expression of eminent military authorities that, without the Golan, Israel is indefensible. It is as simple as that. These military authorities have so informed the President of the United States.

Regrettably, a large share of the Jewish Israeli public (though one would hope not a majority) agree with the policies of Mr. Barak. The Israeli people are understandably tired of war - their country having fought four or five full-scale wars during its existence of just over fifty years. Almost daily rocket attacks and killings along Israeli borders still are the order of the day.

If the return of the Golan to Syria or, for that matter, the establishment of a Palestinian state in the heartland of Israel would guarantee peace and would allow Israel to pursue its promising destiny, such territorial sacrifices might be acceptable. Regrettably, however, that is not in the cards. Peace, unfortunately, is a mirage.

The hatred of the Arabs toward the Jews and their desire to eliminate Israel altogether is unabated. Any territorial concession would simply be a piece in the ultimate plan of destroying Israel in stages.

That desire is no secret. It has been expressed over and over again in the Arab press and by prominent leaders, including Yasser Arafat.

Consider Israel's "peace" with Egypt, now of more than 25 years duration. What exists between Egypt and Israel is a truce, but not a real peace. There are no commercial or cultural relationships. Tourism is almost 100% one-sided — from Israel to Egypt. The Egyptian press is full of daily venom and poisonous caricatures of Jews, fantasies of blood lust, of Israel implanting AIDS into the Egyptian population by the use of Jewish seductresses, and other such garbage.

Arab schoolchildren, in all Arab countries surrounding Israel (and specifically including the territories under the control of the Palestinian Authority), are imbued from the earliest
grades with hatred of Israel and with the demonization of its citizens. Jihad (holy war) is being taught from the very first grades.

One interesting and significant fact: Israel is the only country in the United Nations that does not belong to a so-called "regional grouping". Not belonging to such a grouping, it is impossible for it to ever become a non-permanent member of the Security Council, where the real power of the United Nations lies.

And why are they not members of such a grouping? You guessed it. Even after having made peace with Egypt and with Jordan, the Arab countries (to which Israel would geographically belong) totally reject membership of Israel. The main instigator of this is Egypt.Now Israel wishes to join the "European" grouping, to which the United States also belongs. The Arabs, again under Egypt's leadership, are moving heaven and earth to prevent that also. Some peace partner!

But back to Syria and the Golan: Consider that, in the history of the world, there is not one single example in which an aggressor country, which lost territory in such aggression, has insisted on the return of such territory before it would deign to make peace with the victor. It is totally unprecedented.

Nobody, certainly not the Germans themselves, has ever suggested that Poland should return to Germany the huge chunks of German territory that were ceded to it after World War II. Nor, for that matter, do the French have any intention of returning Alsace-Lorraine to Germany, nor the Czechs any plans of returning the Sudetenland to Germany. Although there was some rumbling, the Czechs expelled the entire German population and therefore solved their problem once and for all.

Why, one wonders, is tiny Israel the only country in the world (and in the history of the world) that is being pressured to return strategic territories — territories indispensable to its survival - to those who have treacherously waged war against it?

Fortunately, the chutzpah — the gall — of the Syrians is such that, despite "best efforts", the Israelis have so far been unable to turn the Golan back to the Syrians, even though they are offering it on a silver platter. The reason is that the Syrians, who need every inch of "sacred Arab territory" returned before they will consider making peace, insist on having direct access to the Sea of Galilee. That is something that even the pliable Israelis have not been able to stomach so far. It would gravely endanger Israel's water supply, which is totally dependent on that lake, its healthy condition, and its tributaries.

Have you ever thought what it would mean if the Golan were actually returned to Syrian ownership and, at the same time, or shortly thereafter, a Palestinian state were created in Gaza and in the provinces of Judea and Samaria (commonly called the "West Bank")? Northern Israel, and especially Galilee, which is predominantly inhabited by Arabs, would come totally under the sway of those two countries.

The Israeli Arabs are alienated from Israel, consider themselves "Palestinians", and give their allegiance fully to their fellow Arabs. In no time at all, a clamor for secession of Galilee and northern Israel would arise, and the world would heartily welcome and support such a movement.

The dismemberment of Israel would have taken a giant step forward.

As the next step, of course, the southern part of the country (the Negev), also largely inhabited by Arabs, most of them Bedouins, would be second in line.

Israel would be reduced to an impotent mini-mini state — ripe prey to those who are sworn to destroy it.

You may think that the above is an overblown scenario and that these things are not going to happen. But we believe that they will. We believe that they are the inevitable outcome if Israel continues to allow itself to be dismembered and allows itself to be pressured into turning its strategic assets over to its enemies.

FLAME is the only voice that, in an ongoing and systematic manner, has brought the truth about Israel and about the Middle East to the attention of the American people. We do that by publishing monthly our hasbarah (explanatory and clarifying) messages in major national publications (such as U.S. News and World Report, The New Republic, The Nation, The National Review, Human Events, The American Spectator, The Washington Times National Weekly, The Weekly Standard, World Magazine, and others), in select metropolitan newspapers, in over fifty small-town newspapers all across the United States and Canada, and in several Jewish publications here in the United States and in Israel.

Nobody else speaks up. And even many of our fellow Jews have succumbed to the never-ceasing drumbeat of propaganda that advocates "sacrifices for peace", "land for peace", and other such bizarre notions to the American public.

We have been doing this for fifteen years. You will be pleased to know that we are the only major Jewish organization in the United States that works with minimal overhead and that, since its inception, has never paid any executive salaries. Almost everything is done on a pro bono basis and virtually all contributions go to the good cause - the publication of our messages and related direct mail.

We have recently published a message about Peace with Syria. It has appeared in all of our major media and is available on this web site. Also, many of our friends and donors have requested that we reprint our ads Arabian Fables (I) and Arabian Fables (II), because they sort of put into a nutshell the principal myths and lies about Israel. These ads are also available on the web site.

I invite you and urge you to be a contributor today, at a time in which Israel stands at an important crossroad — a crossroad that may well determine whether the country is going to survive, or not.

I hope that I may count on your generous support and I thank you in advance for your solidarity and for your generosity.

Shalom and sincerely yours,

Gerardo Joffe, President

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