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An e-newsletter delivering updates and analysis on current issues about Israel and the Middle East conflict

February 8, 2011

Upheaval in Egypt forces the world to acknowledge there are worse countries in the Middle East than Israel. (All of them.)

Dear Friend of Israel, Friend of FLAME:

Reading this week's FLAME Hotline article in bed a few nights ago got me so revved up, I could hardly go to sleep afterwards. Author and blogger David Suissa, founder of Olam magazine, rightfully asserts that in light of what the protestors have recently revealed about repression and poverty in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, "Israel's Never Looked So Good."

Indeed, it's not just Egypt that's been exposed, because President Mubarak, for all his many faults, really looks kind of benign compared with the brutal dictatorships of Assad in Syria, Ahmahdinijad in Iran, and Hamas in Gaza, just to name a few.

Why, then, has Israel, the Middle East's only democracy, been the focus of the world's scrutiny, condemnation and ire for the past 30 years---to the virtual exclusion of oppressors like Saudi Arabia and Iraq, to name a few more?

Where have the U.N. condemnations and London street demonstrations been against Arab subjugation of women, decades-long denial of honest elections, blatant legal discrimination against Christians and other ethnic minorities or even outright slaughter, such as was committed against thousands of Kurds in Iraq by Saddam Hussein and by Syria's Hafez Assad against 10,000 of his own people in Hama?

Yes, where were those human rights groups and noble advocates of justice in the Middle East? Of course, the answer is, they were too busy attacking Israel, which has a better human rights record than most countries in the world and has been fighting for its life against those self-same repressive Middle East regimes who also happen to be sworn to her destruction.

This hypocrisy is so bizarre, so antithetical to any notion of justice and fair play, that to call it Kafkaesque would be an understatement. Again, we ask, "Why?" Where does this madness come from?

To explain away such mistreatment of Israel by calling it anti-Semitic would be both true and superficial. Because the leftists and jihadists who hate the Jewish state also hate the United States and Western Europe and the democratic capitalism that fuels our society. To them, anything, even a Middle East ruled by the likes of terrorist Hizbollah or Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood, would be better than Israel or the U.S.

That's why our fight against these forces is so important. That's also why I urge you to forward this revealing article to your friends and colleagues, so they will understand why it's critical to stand up---proudly---for Israel.

Thanks for your support of Israel and your support of FLAME.


Jim Sinkinson
Director, FLAME


As you may know, the Palestinians are now mounting an irresponsible effort to run around the Middle East peace process: They are circulating a petition in the United Nations declaring Israeli "settlements" in Jerusalem and in the disputed territories to be "illegal." This is just one more attempt to avoid the responsibility of working for peace through negotiations, and of course, such a U.N. resolution, if passed, would be one more public relations setback for Israel. Please take a few minutes right now to urge President Obama to support Israel unequivocally in the United Nations and to veto such a resolution when it comes up for a U.N. vote. Write the President immediately. Please do the same with your Senators and Representative: Just go to Contacting the Congress and urge them to support a veto of any anti-Israel motion in the U.N. (You'll need your nine [5+4] digit zip code to find your Representative.)


As you know, Israel is currently being attacked worldwide by the so-called BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement---an insidious attempt to slander Israel in the name of &quot;ending the occupation&quot; and &quot;freedom for Palestine.&quot; To get the truth about this hateful group and the lies it tells, I want to give you <u>an advance look</u> at a new FLAME position paper that's about to be published in media that reach more than 5 million Americans. Please read this outspoken position paper, &quot;<u><a href=""><u>The BDS Movement: Does it stand for Middle East peace or does it seek Israel's destruction?</u></a></u>&quot; If you agree that this kind of public relations effort on Israel's behalf is critical, I urge you to support us. Remember: FLAME's powerful ability to influence public opinion comes from individuals like you, one by one. I hope you'll consider giving a donation now, as you're able---with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to <a href=""></a>. Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that Israel gets the support it needs---from the U.S. Congress, from President Obama, and from the American people.

Israel's Never Looked So Good
By David Suissa, Huffington Post, February 2, 2011

They warned us. The geniuses at Peace Now warned us. The brilliant diplomats warned us. The think tanks warned us. Even the Arab dictators warned us. For decades now, they have been warning us that if you want "peace in the Middle East," just fix the Palestinian problem. A recent variation on this theme has been: Just get the Jews to stop building apartments in East Jerusalem and Efrat. Yes, if all those Jews in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would only "freeze" their construction, then, finally, Palestinian leaders might come to the table and peace might break out.

And what would happen if peace would break out between Jews and Palestinians? Would all those furious Arabs now demonstrating on streets across the Middle East feel any better?

What bloody nonsense.

Has there ever been a greater abuse of the English language in international diplomacy than calling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the "Middle East peace process?" As if there were only two countries in the Middle East.

Even if you absolutely believe in the imperative of creating a Palestinian state, you can't tell me that the single-minded and global obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the expense of the enormous ills in the rest of the Middle East hasn't been idiotic, if not criminally negligent.

While tens of millions of Arabs have been suffering for decades from brutal oppression, while gays have been tortured and writers jailed and women humiliated and dissidents killed, the world—yes, the world—has obsessed with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As if Palestinians—the same coddled victims on whom the world has spent billions and who have rejected one peace offer after another—were the only victims in the Middle East.

As if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has anything to do with the 1,000-year-old bloody conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, or the desire of brutal Arab dictators to stay in power, or the desire of Islamist radicals to bring back the Caliphate, or the economic despair of millions, or simply the absence of free speech or basic human rights throughout the Arab world.

While self-righteous Israel bashers have scrutinized every flaw in Israel's democracy—some waxing hysterical that the Jewish democratic experiment in the world's nastiest neighborhood had turned into an embarrassment—they kept their big mouths shut about the oppression of millions of Arabs throughout the Middle East.

They cried foul if Israeli Arabs—who have infinitely more rights and freedoms than any Arabs in the Middle East—had their rights compromised in any way. But if a poet were jailed in Jordan or a gay man were tortured in Egypt or a woman were stoned in Syria, all we heard was screaming silence.

Think of the ridiculous amount of media ink and diplomatic attention that has been poured onto the Israel-Palestinian conflict over the years, while much of the Arab world was suffering and smoldering, and tell me this is not criminal negligence. Do you ever recall seeing a UN resolution or an international conference in support of Middle Eastern Arabs not named Palestinians?

Of course, now that the Arab volcano has finally erupted, all those chronic Israel bashers have suddenly discovered a new cause: Freedom for the poor oppressed Arabs of the Middle East!

Imagine if, instead of putting Israel under their critical and hypocritical microscope, the world's Israel bashers had taken Israel's imperfect democratic experiment and said to the Arab world: Why don't you try to emulate the Jews?

Why don't you give equal rights to your women and gays, just like Israel does?

Why don't you give your people the same freedom of speech and freedom to vote that Israel does? And offer them the economic opportunities they would get in Israel? Why don't you treat your Jewish and Christian citizens the same way Israel treats its Arab and Christian citizens?

Why don't you study how Israel has struggled to balance religion with democracy—a very difficult but not insurmountable task?

Why don't you teach your people that Jews are not the sons of dogs but a noble, ancient people with a 3,000-year connection to the land of Israel?

Yes, imagine if Israel bashers had spent a fraction of their energy fighting the lies of Arab dictators and defending the rights of millions of oppressed Arabs. Imagine if President Obama had taken one percent of the time he has harped on Jewish settlements to defend the democratic rights of Egyptian Arabs—which he is suddenly doing now that the volcano has erupted.

Maybe it's just easier to beat up on a free and open society like Israel.

Well, now that the cesspool of human oppression in the Arab world has been opened for all to see, how bad is Israel's democracy looking? Don't you wish the Arab world had a modicum of Israel's civil society? Would you still be worrying about "stability in the Middle East?"

You can preach to me all you want about the great Jewish tradition of self-criticism—which I believe in—but right now, when I see poor Arab souls being murdered for the simple act of protesting on the street, I've never felt more proud of being a supporter of the Jewish state.


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