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

October 19, 2004

Dear Friend of FLAME:

If you have friends who are confused about Israel and the Middle East conflict —— or even who may be hostile to Israel —— it often happens that these people have misconceptions about Israel's history, about previous efforts to make peace, and about some basic facts pertaining to the region. The "Top 10 Facts about Israel" list below provides one of the most cogent (and short!) summaries we've seen of the important realities and misunderstandings concerning Israel. Best of all, each "fact" links to a longer explanation for those who want details. These explanations are provided by Please pass this article on to your friends and acquaintances who might benefit from such clarity.

Best regards,
Jim Sinkinson
Director, FLAME

The Top 10 Facts you need to know about Israel and the Middle East conflict.

FLAME thanks's source: for this list.

Click on the facts below for a more detailed explanation of each.

1. In the summer of 2000, Israel offered the Palestinian Arabs 97% of the land they claim to be fighting for, making Israel the first and only country ever to offer the Palestinian Arabs a homeland. This offer was rejected with no counter-offer from the Palestinians.

2. Like the United States, Israel is a democracy. Israel's Parliament includes men, women, Jews, and Arabs.

3. Israel ensures complete equality of all individuals irrespective of religion, race or sex. These civil rights are granted in Israel's Declaration of Independence and Declaration of Establishment.

4. There is no "occupation" by the Israeli Government. The U.N. has labeled certain territories as "disputed" (U.N. Resolution 242).

5. Israel gained control of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza (sometimes referred to as the "disputed territories") in 1967 after defeating Egypt, Syria and Jordan in a pre-emptive strike after those countries surrounded Israel with troops, launched repeated terrorist attacks, and threatened to "put an end to Israel."

6. Three major attempts to destroy Israel have been carried out by the Arab World: in 1947, 1967, and 1973. Although many neighboring Arab countries today still wish to destroy Israel, Israel still seeks peace. Israel has forged peace agreements with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994), and have lived in peace with these countries ever since.

7. The West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza were never controlled by any Palestinian government or organization until 1993, when Israel agreed to give the Palestinian Authority certain controls under the Oslo Peace accords.

8. Israeli Settlements in the West Bank and Gaza are not illegal under any international law.

9. There have been roughly as many Jews displaced from Arab Nations as Arabs displaced from Israeli territory. Israel has absorbed the Jewish refugees, yet the Arab world refuses to accept the Palestinian Arabs into their countries.

10. The combined land size of Arab countries is 650 times the size of Israel -- i.e., Israel is the size of New Jersey, and the Arab countries are the size of the United States, all of Central America, and Mexico combined.


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