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

April 19, 2011

President Obama Continues to Put the Burden of Peace on Israel, While Denying Palestinian Realities

Dear Friend of Israel, Friend of FLAME:

Today is the first day of Passover (Pessach), and at last night's Seder millions of Jews around the world began celebrating our people's flight to freedom from the Egyptian Pharoah. It's been a difficult, costly, millennia-long struggle from those days of slavery, through centuries of Diaspora, persecution and the Holocaust, to redemption---the advent, just 63 years ago, of Israel, the first modern Jewish nation.

Yet even today, after defending itself from the onslaught of three major Arab attacks (in 1948, 1967 and 1973) as well as many lesser, unsuccessful attempts to defeat the Jewish state, Israel still faces an existential crisis.

As we reflect on the plight of our people, we're reminded of the Yiddish expression, "Es ist schwer zu sein a Yid"---it's tough to be Jew. Unfortunately, the United States, rather than being Israel's stalwart supporter, as it has been for many decades, is now wavering under the Obama administration and making it even tougher, at least for Israeli Jews and those who support the Jewish state.

Specifically, despite all evidence, the President continues to act out his bizarre conviction that the Arabs just want to be friends and will respond to his outstretched olive branch. He continues to treat Israel as though she is simply one half of an ongoing schoolyard scrap and equally to blame for the fracas.

Thankfully, you and I and (so far) most members of the U.S. Congress have been there to remind Mr. Obama that the Arabs, and especially the Palestinian Arabs, have proved time and again that they don't accept the Jewish state of Israel, don't negotiate in good faith (when they negotiate at all), and are dedicated to the murder of Jews and destruction of our homeland.

This week's FLAME Hotline, by Israeli international human rights advocate Isi Leibler, is a poignant plea to the President to come to his senses. Indeed, Leibler provides a compact catalog of all the reasons Obama should be supporting Israel and holding the Arabs to account.

Please take five minutes to review Isi Leibler's moving Passover message. Then consider doing a small favor for Israel: If you have personal friends or colleagues who may appreciate a short, tight argument for greater U.S. support of Israel, please forward this brief article to them, so they will understand why it's critical that we continue to speak the truth on Israel's behalf, especially here in the United States.

Before I sign off, let me leave you with some good news: When Congress passed the budget last week, they included more than $3 billion in security assistance for Israel. This will help Israel fund a few more installments of its Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, which is proving effective in shooting down Hamas-fired rockets from Gaza and promises to help defend against inevitable Hizbollah attacks from Lebanon.

Above all, please remember: We are on the front lines in the PR war to protect Israel. Every time you spread the truth or correct a misconception, you're helping our cause. Thanks for your support of Israel and your support of FLAME.


Jim Sinkinson
Vice President, FLAME


If you share our belief that the U.S.-Israel relationship is vitally important and wish to know more about why it makes so much more sense today than ever before, please review FLAME's latest hasbarah (clarifying message): "A Most Stalwart and Reliable Ally: Is Israel indeed America's unsinkable aircraft carrier?." This piece is just now appearing in magazines and newspapers, including college newspapers, with a combined circulation of nearly 5 million people. In addition, it is being sent to every member of the U.S. Congress. 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 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.

An open letter to President Obama
"What do you really expect of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government?"
By Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, April 13, 2011

Dear Mr. President,

During your recent meeting with American Jewish communal leaders, you reassured them of "America's unshakable support for Israel's security, opposition to any effort to delegitimize it or single it out for criticisms, and commitment to achieve a peace that will secure the future for Arabs and Israelis alike."

Moreover, you reaffirmed your undertaking to keep US military aid at its current high levels.

On the eve of Pessach, when we celebrate our freedom from bondage, permit me to explain why, despite such assurances, most Israelis still harbor profound anxiety about your attitude toward our security.

I preface this with a reference to your disturbing remarks at the meeting, when you urged them to "search your souls" over whether Israel is genuinely serious about peace, and called on them to encourage us to take "bold steps." Many of us consider such remarks as exemplifying the moral equivalence you consistently apply to our defensive actions in relation to terror attacks, and your penchant for condemning us while largely ignoring Palestinian intransigency.

You appear to have endorsed the Arab narrative, which ignores the fact that it was the Jewish state that suffered aggression from its neighbors preceding the '67 war. You also seem to disregard the fact that the vast majority of Israelis today – including our prime minister – have no desire to rule over Arabs, and would dearly like to separate from them.

We may debate the amount of land beyond the 1949 armistice lines that Resolution 242 entitles us to retain, but the discussion is over minor percentages. Besides, two prime ministers offered the Palestinians over 90 percent of these territories – and were rebuffed.

Today our region is undergoing unprecedented upheaval. For years we have been confronting a xenophobic, Islamic Iran, on the eve of achieving nuclear status, which repeatedly declares its intention to wipe us off the face of the world.

Now the entire Arab world is in the throes of revolutionary turmoil. But far from emerging as free societies, new Arab regimes may prove to be even more committed to radical Islam than their corrupt predecessors. We fear that we will again be surrounded by fanatical rejectionist states committed to our destruction.

In this context, Mr. President, Israelis ask: What do you really expect of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government? Bear in mind that unilateral withdrawal from Gaza led to increased missile attacks. And since your election, Israel has made all the concessions. Last year, under enormous pressure from you, Netanyahu took the unprecedented step of imposing a 10-month freeze on settlement construction, even in areas that will unquestionably remain part of Israel. He also committed the government to endorsing a two-state solution—a major policy reversal in his Likud party.

In contrast, beyond making duplicitous statements—concealed from their constituents—endorsing peace, the Palestinian leaders remained utterly intransigent, unwilling to compromise on a single issue, even refusing to negotiate.

In fact, following Al Jazeera disclosures of compromises allegedly reached during negotiations with prime minister Ehud Olmert, the PA leaders blatantly denied having offered any concessions.

Surely this suggests that when negotiating with Olmert, Abbas was either duplicitous or conscious that brainwashing his constituents to hate us had been so effective that any genuine Palestinian accommodation was inconceivable.

The incitement emanating from every level of Palestinian society continues unabated, with Abbas brazenly sanctifying terrorists and providing pensions for the families of those who murder Israeli civilians.

Besides, the PA has been adamant in its refusal to recognize us as a Jewish state. Indeed, whereas 20% of the population of Israel consists of Arab and Muslim citizens, our "moderate peace partner" has proclaimed that a Palestinian state would be judenrein (editor: free of Jews), insisting that he would not tolerate the presence of a single Jew. Mr. President, can you ignore such blatantly racist remarks from a leader you repeatedly refer to as a moderate peace partner? Many of us believe that the principal objective of Abbas, like his Hamas kinsmen, is still the dissolution of Jewish sovereignty; that he is merely employing Yasser Arafat's tactics of extracting unilateral concessions and attempting to dismantle us in stages.

However, even if we accept your premise that Abbas is genuinely willing to make peace, can you, seriously visualize him having the power to deliver? Besides, you are aware that Hamas is a genocidal organization, committed to killing all Jews. Yet the man you insist is a moderate peace partner unequivocally repeats his desire to merge his PA with these Islamic psychopaths. Is it reasonable to expect us to support the creation of a neighboring state in which a dominant group remains proudly committed to our destruction?

And finally, Mr. President, a word about our right to defend ourselves. If authorities in Cuba or Mexico authorized missile launches targeting American citizens, would you call for restraint? Would you respond by merely bombing empty buildings? Would you apologize if innocent civilians employed as human shields became casualties in the course of efforts to forestall attacks on American citizens? Mr. President, over the 63 years since we achieved independence, despite continuous terrorist attacks and neighbors seeking our destruction, we have succeeded in creating a vibrant democratic state. It is thus unconscionable to apply moral equivalence between our efforts to protect our citizens, and those committing acts of terror.

When you urge your Jewish constituents to press Israel to make further unilateral concessions, it epitomizes the concerns we share about your inability to appreciate the perils we face. It also fuels our fear that you are contemplating further pressure on us to retreat behind the 1949 armistice lines – which would endanger our very existence.

I urge you to reinstate the principles outlined by the Bush administration. I refer to US rejection of the right of return for Palestinian refugees; recognition of demographic changes in relation to the major settlement blocs, not seeking to impose a return to the 1949 armistice lines; and support for defensible Israeli borders.

I believe I echo the vast majority of my fellow Israelis when I appeal to you to provide us with the confidence to move forward by taking these elements into account and review your current policy.


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