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

May 7, 2013

Media's attempt to downplay Boston bombers' motivations hides the worldwide Islamist attempt to destroy Western culture

Dear Friend of FLAME:

As I was reading the New York Times last week, I alternated between disbelief and LOL as read the an article about Boston Marathon Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, which was titled "A Battered Dream, Then a Violent Path" and began with these words:

"It was a blow the immigrant boxer could not withstand: after capturing his second consecutive title at the Golden Gloves heavyweight champion of New England in 2010, Tamerlan Anzorovich Tsarnaev, 23, was barred from the national Tournament of Champions because he was not a United States citizen." 

The rest of the article builds the case that this career disappointment, rather than Tsarnaev's "growing devotion to Islam," led him and his brother Dzhokhar ("a sweet boy," we're told by his friends) to kill three people and wound more than 200 in a brutal bombing on April 15.

Just as outrageously, writer David Sirota in an article at titled "Let's Hope the Boston Marathon Bomber Is a White American," fears that if the bomber is found out to be Muslim, we will be tempted to form generalizations about terrorists, which will lead to unfair persecution of Muslims and draconian restrictions on their civil liberties.

After the Tsarnaevs were identified, a headline at The Atlantic website read "The Boston Bombers Were Muslim. So?"  In other words, religion had nothing to do with it, right?

These are the moments when over-the-top multiculturalism looks not just ridiculous, but scary.  Sirota argues that when white-guy-terrorists set off bombs, we don't lump them together and make superficial generalizations about their motives.  But just let a Muslim kill a few people, and off we run condemning all Muslim terrorists as being motivated by their religion.  And then, mean-spiritedly, we want to crack down on them.

Well, yes.  The American white guys seem mostly to be crazies or be inspired by disparate motivations---with no common thread.  Muslim terrorists, like the Tsaranaev boys---here in the U.S. and abroad---all pretty much admit to being inspired by radical Islam.  And yes, begging your pardon, we want to stop them.

Despite all efforts by the New York Times, Atlantic and, we want to identify these terrorists as Islamist, so we can understand and identify them.  And we want to take steps to prevent radical Islamists from blowing up more people---here in the U.S., in Israel, Bulgaria, India, Bali, London and wherever they want to strike next.

This week's FLAME Hotline article diagnoses the liberal tendency to justify all manner of terrorist mayhem by blaming America's or Israel's or the West's activities for some imagined worldwide Muslim alienation.  This article, by Yair Shamir, Israel's minister of agriculture and rural development and a former commander in Israel's Air Force, exhorts us to call Islamist terror by its real name and to fight it anywhere in the world it lifts its murderous head.

Please take a few minutes to read this week's short, but inspiring Hotline article.  I urge you to pass it along to your friends, colleagues, and fellow congregants using the "send to a friend" button at the bottom of this email, or using the buttons above to share it via social media.   

Thanks for your continued support of Israel, and thank you for your support of FLAME.

Best regards,

Jim Sinkinson
Vice President, FLAME


One of the greatest roadblocks to peace between Israel and the Palestinians is the outrageous demand for the "return" of Arab "refugees" to Israel.  This demand has many problems, including the Palestinians' fantastical definition of "refugees"---a group that by their count has mushroomed from 650,000 to more than five million---enough to swamp the Jewish nation with Arabs if the demand were ever fulfilled.  To expose the absurdity of this demand---and of UNRWA, the United Nations agency that supports these refugees (thanks to hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars)---we at FLAME have recently published "Who---and How Many---Are the Palestinian Refugees?" in media reaching 10 million readers nationwide, plus distribution to all U.S. Senators and Representatives, members of the Supreme Court, and, of course, President Obama. I hope you'll review this outspoken position paper and pass it on to your friends, members of your congregation and colleagues. If you agree that FLAME's bold brand of public relations on Israel's behalf is critical, I urge you to support our publication of such outspoken messages. Please consider giving 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.

Our Shared Islamist Enemy
From Boston to Israel, radicals are attempting to destroy Western culture

By Yair Shamir, Foreign Policy, May 1, 2013

Geroge Orwell wrote in his seminal tome, 1984, "The object of terrorism is terrorism . . . Now do you begin to understand me?"

Unfortunately, we live in a world where too many still do not understand.

After the recent terrorist attacks in Boston, there was immense incredulity when the ethnic nationality of the perpetrators was made known. The act did not make sense to many, because terror has so often been explained merely as a product of national conflict, or as a logical reaction to "oppression" or "occupation." Even al Qaeda, we are told, is merely reacting to America's role in the Muslim world.

Neither the United States in particular, nor the West in general, has played a significant role in the decades-long war in Chechnya. The usual talking heads were left scratching their heads -- even after more evidence of the bomber's Islamist ideology came to light.

Modern terror connected to an extremist Islamist mindset is simply something that many in the West are unable or unwilling to truly understand. Our opinion-shapers will look into every possible angle of a terrorist's background and history to find some way to explain away, or on occasion sympathize with, the perpetrators' motives.

We ignore terrorists' ideology at our own peril. While their acts are inhuman, these people are human and we must hold them accountable for their actions -- not treat them as a mere tool of retribution for other misdeeds. Ignoring their ideology will mean that we can never fully understand the implications behind these attacks.

We would not accept Christians meting out vengeance against Muslims for massacres and church bombings in Nigeria, or the persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt. Why do we accept the argument that perceived Muslim persecution in one part of the world necessitates Islamist violence in another?

In reality, our Islamist enemies' goals are aggressive by nature. Al Qaeda's ideological underpinnings are found in the writings of Egyptian Islamist theorist Sayyid Qutb, which lauded offensive jihad, or a jihad of conquest. There is little that is reactive about this belief system - it is not aimed at defending its rights, but at conquering the world of the disbelievers.

While it may seem unbelievable to most that al Qaeda's attacks on the United States are about toppling the American nation, this is at the core of the terrorist organization's goals. On March 11, 2005, al-Quds al-Arabi published extracts from al Qaeda leader Saif al-Adel's "al Qaeda's Strategy to the Year 2020." Written in the 1990s, this document outlines how the terrorist organization has attempted to undertake a series of steps that will bring down the United States and the West. This impossible goal is an integral aspect of radical terrorist belief system.

The perpetrators of the Boston attacks, while seemingly unconnected to a terror cell or organization, are examples of people imbued with this radical ideology. Where and how they became radicalized is an important question for the FBI or CIA. But there is one thing we already know: Once they became practitioners of Islamist terror, their goal, in the words of a Boston police chief, was simply to kill as many people as possible. This was not about military occupation, borders, or national aspirations.

In the West, we can understand a person who fights with every breath against tyranny and oppression. We were raised on the heroic struggles against Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. However, we cannot understand someone whose goal is to maim and murder innocents in the name of their religion.

So we avoid that conclusion at all costs. It is a concept so foreign that we reject it outright, and seek other answers more acceptable to our Western palate.

In Israel, we have fought against jihadi terrorism long before there was a single Israeli foot in the West Bank, and even before Jewish sovereignty was reestablished in 1948. In the 1920s and 1930s, the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, would whip his followers into a religious frenzy who would then murder, burn, and frequently dismember innocent Jews.

Husseini's modern-day disciples are no less interested in murder for spiritual gain. While most assume that the Israel-Palestinian conflict is about sovereignty, that is not what the Palestinian terrorist groups claim.

Hamas, the most popular party during the last Palestinian elections, seeks the complete obliteration of Israel. As Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said in Gaza last December, "Palestine is ours, from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land."

Article 7 of the Hamas Charter, promises a world without Jews, where the "Day of Judgment" will only arrive when the last Jews are hunted down and killed. It is genocidal in its intent.

It is this aggressive and offensive jihad, unconnected to any particular conflict or borders, which conjoins Islamist terror groups around the world. It is this murderous and invasive mindset that drove the Tsarnaev brothers to attack innocent civilians in Boston.

If we in the West wish to stand in the way of this malevolent terror, we must first understand its vision, its true nature, and its goals. Only then can it be conquered. Sadly, at present, we are not even on the same battlefield.


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