Dear Friend of Israel, dear Friend of FLAME:
The rockets keep falling on Sderot, the small city closest to the Gaza strip. So far, “only” about 20 Israelis have been killed, though many more have been wounded. But it is only a matter of time until one of these rockets will land on a school, on a hospital, or on an apartment building. It would cause many casualties. That would at long last be unacceptable to the Israeli public. A vigorous response would be demanded. It would in all likelihood cause many casualties in Gaza – most of them “innocent civilians.” But, of course, there are no “innocent civilians.” Anybody who allows rockets to be launched from his backyard is no “innocent” and should expect forceful retaliation in kind.
The homemade Qassam rockets that the Gazans now launch daily on Sderot and occasionally on other close-by cities are regrettably only the beginning. More and more explosives and more sophisticated weaponry – courtesy of Syria and of Iran — are smuggled daily into Gaza through elaborate tunnels from Sinai. Soon other cities, perhaps even as far away as Haifa or Tel Aviv, will be under the gun. What is going to happen then?
Egyptian soldiers are manning the border between Sinai and Gaza. They are responsible to see that no weapons are being smuggled into Gaza. They are doing a very bad job, of course. If there ever was a case of the fox guarding the chicken coop, this has to be it.
There are other important aspects to the Gaza story. In more ways than one, it was a test case for Israel. We (FLAME) thought all along that abandoning Gaza and evacuating over 8,000 Israelis, who had lived there for generations, was a mistake. And, of course, we were right. The Israelis left the sophisticated hothouse installations that were commercial and technical marvels and which could have been a source of food and very substantial export earnings for the Gazans. Instead of taking advantage of this opportunity, they destroyed and plundered these advanced installations.
We covered all of this and more in our hasbarah (educating and clarifying) message #111: “Rockets Over Sderot,” which ran last month in major national media. You have probably seen it. The message brought the truth, the facts and the reality of these events to the attention of the American people who have remained largely uninformed or misinformed about those important happenings.
And that is, of course, what FLAME does and what we have been doing for more than twenty years. The United States is the best and perhaps the only good friend that Israel has in the world. By providing up-to-date information about Israel and the Middle East, truth that is not available in magazines and newspapers, we keep the American public informed. We are the only organization that does that. We have much evidence that our messages sink in and help shape public opinion. We are especially proud that a good number of our supporters – and often the most devoted and generous ones – are of the Christian faith.
The goodwill of the United States toward Israel is centered in the U.S. Congress. Steadily and by a large majorities it votes in favor of resolutions and laws that are favorable to Israel. Members of Congress keep their ears close to the ground. Even in states that have very few Jewish residents, Representatives will favor Israel because that is the will of their constituents.
In order to better inform and if possible influence Congress, we now mail monthly our hasbarah messages to each Representative, accompanied by an appropriate and personalized cover letter. It serves to clarify our positions and seems to be a very successful program. Beginning next month, we shall expand this program and send these messages also to all members of the Senate.
The never-resting propaganda apparatus of the Arabs insists aggressively that the “refugees” of the 1948 War of Liberation must be allowed to “return to their homes” before any peace with Israel is possible. That is a non-starter, of course. The approximately 650,000 Palestinians who fled the nascent state of Israel during that war have for the last sixty years been kept in so-called “refugee camps” – at the dole of the United Nations – who have created a special board (UNWRA) just for that. They have now miraculously grown to 5 million. Even the vaunted Arab womb could not possibly account for that. But what that propaganda never mentions is that during that war and the Six Day War of 1967, over 850,000 Jews were expelled and had to flee their homes in Arab countries, where they had lived for hundreds of years and where, in many cases, they had accumulated much property. They left and were driven out with literally only the clothes on their backs and fled to Israel, where they were received with open arms, were fully integrated and now make up over 50% of Israel’s population.
Our hasbarah message #106: “The Forgotten Refugees” tells that story. It was an important eye-opener for countless people who read this message in major national publications. I include this message with this letter in order to refresh your memory on this topic.
The greatest danger that now confronts Israel is Iran, its apparently unstoppable nuclear program and its demonic president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has promised to “wipe Israel off the map.” He has to be taken as seriously as Hitler should have been (but unfortunately was not). We analyzed the Iran danger – not just to Israel, but also to our country and to the whole world, in our hasbarah message #109: “The Deadly Threat of a Nuclear Armed Iran.”
Dear Friend: We fulfill a most vital mission, namely bringing the important truth about Israel to the American public. As I mentioned earlier, we have done this for over twenty years. We have been able to do so through the help of devoted people like you, who have supported us financially over these many years. We run the leanest possible organization. We have never paid any executive salaries and operate with minimum staff. Charity Navigator, America’s premier rating organization for philanthropies and charities, has awarded us their highest (4-star!) rating for prudent financial management, for two years in a row. Only a very small fraction of philanthropies ever earn that 4-star rating even once. We have received it twice in a row! You may be sure that your hard-earned contribution will not go to finance bloated salaries or fancy overhead. Virtually all of it will go directly to what you want it to go: the purposes of FLAME, bringing the truth about Israel to the American people.
We know quite well that you are being besieged by many requests for contributions to Jewish and other worthy causes. Most of them surely deserve your support. Our people have a reputation for generosity to good causes. I know that you, like many of us, may be suffering from “donor fatigue.” But please open your heart and your pocketbook and make as generous a donation to FLAME as you possibly can afford. Your tsedakah dollars could not be any more worthily employed.
Thank you for your support, for your generosity, and for your approval of and solidarity with our important work.
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.
PPPS: Please turn to our website: www.factsandlogic.org for all of our hasbarah messages, for our financial statements, for the laudatory letter from Charity Navigator, and for other important information. 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.