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Facts and Logic About
the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
(415) 356-7801

February 3, 2009

Arab journalist to Palestinians: It's time to give up jihad against Israel and get a life—a real life

Dear Friend of FLAME:

Can we finally say it? The Palestinians and their Arab neighbors have wasted the last sixty years trying to throw Israel out of the Promised Land, and they've failed. Not only have they failed to win an inch of land or gain any political advantage, but the Palestinians have tragically squandered the chance to build a viable social, cultural, economic and political life.

Instead they've created a society based on hate, destruction and suicide . . . steeped in abject poverty, dependent on the charity of the world's nations, Israel chief among them.

This week's article, by former New York Times and Wall Street Journal reporter Youssef Ibrahim is an open letter from one Arab to his brethren, in which he advises them to give up their futile fight against Israel.

Contrast this with the statement by senior Hamas leader Nizar Rayyan just before he was killed by an Israeli air attack in Gaza, in which he said, "We will never recognize Israel . . . There is nothing called Israel, neither in reality nor in the imagination."

While Hamas may not speak for all Palestinians, they unfortunately speak for most. After all, this fundamentalist Islamic terror organization was elected by a majority. What's more, the Palestinian An-Najah University conducted a poll of Palestinian public opinion a few months ago and found that 53.4 percent persist in their rejection of a two-state solution.

Most Westerners make the mistake of projecting their own views onto the Palestinians, wanting to believe that this "suffering people" wants peace. In a supreme display of condescension, many in the West simply ignore what the Palestinians themselves say they want. Just for the record: When the Palestinians say they're fighting against the "occupation," they're not referring to the West Bank, Gaza or Jerusalem's expanding eastern suburbs---the so-called "settlements"---and they never have. To most Palestinians, the "occupation" refers to Israel's heartland, the very nation of Israel itself.

No wonder Hamas started attacking Israel as soon as Israel abandoned Gaza.

We can only hope that Youssef Ibrahim's analysis below is correct---that Arabs are tiring of the hopeless struggle against Israel. The Palestinians have made many, many mistakes. But if they can be encouraged by fellow Arabs to call off their jihad against Israel, who wouldn't support giving them a chance to drag themselves from the wreckage and start to build a decent society?

Best regards,

Jim Sinkinson
Director, FLAME


As the ceasefire in Gaza seems to be breaking down---again because of Hamas's recalcitrance---it's critical that Americans understand the facts of Israel's recent invasion of Gaza, especially if Israel has to go back in. To this end, FLAME has begun publishing its latest position paper in national and regional media. I invite you to preview this forceful defense of Israel's actions---"Israel's Defensive Response to Gaza: Was Israel Using Disproportionate Force?" It gives a concise history of the conflict in Gaza, outlines why Israel had to respond, and devestates the argument that Israel overreacted. In the next month alone this explanation will reach five million American homes and Congress members. Please review it yourself and pass it along to others. Most of all, 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, while so many bash her.

The War with Israel Is Over—and They Won
By Youssef Ibrahim, Jewish World Review, January 16, 2009 (An original version of this article appeared in The New York Sun in 2006)

To my Arab brothers:

Now let's finally move forward. With Israel entering its fourth week of an incursion into the same Gaza Strip it voluntarily evacuated a few years ago, a sense of reality among Arabs is spreading through commentary by Arab pundits, letters to the editor, and political talk shows on Arabic-language TV networks. The new views are stunning both in their maturity and in their realism. The best way I can think of to convey them is in the form of a letter to the Palestinian Arabs from their Arab friends:

Dear Palestinian Arab brethren: The war with Israel is over. You have lost. Surrender and negotiate to secure a future for your children. We, your Arab brothers, may say until we are blue in the face that we stand by you, but the wise among you and most of us know that we are moving on, away from the tired old idea of the Palestinian Arab cause and the "eternal struggle" with Israel. Dear friends, you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine, but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948 is much bigger than the one you could have had in 1967, which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years.

Struggle means less land and more misery and utter loneliness. At the moment, brothers, you would be lucky to secure a semblance of a state in that Gaza Strip into which you have all crowded, and a small part of the West Bank of the Jordan. It isn't going to get better. Time is running out even for this much land, so here are some facts, figures, and sound advice, friends.

You hold keys, which you drag out for television interviews, to houses that do not exist or are inhabited by Israelis who have no intention of leaving Jaffa, Haifa , Tel Aviv, or West Jerusalem. You shoot old guns at modern Israeli tanks and American-made fighter jets, doing virtually no harm to Israel while bringing the wrath of its mighty army down upon you. You fire ridiculously inept Kassam rockets that cause little destruction and delude yourselves into thinking this is a war of liberation.

Your government, your social institutions, your schools, and your economy are all in ruins. Your young people are growing up illiterate, ill, and bent on rites of death and suicide, while you, in effect, are living on the kindness of foreigners, including America and the United Nations. Every day your officials must beg for your daily bread, dependent on relief trucks that carry food and medicine into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while your criminal Muslim fundamentalist Hamas government continues to fan the flames of a war it can neither fight nor hope to win.

In other words, brothers, you are down, out, and alone in a burnt-out landscape that is shrinking by the day. What kind of struggle is this? Is it worth waging at all? More important, what kind of miserable future does it portend for your children, the fourth or fifth generation of the Arab world's have-nots? We, your Arab brothers, have moved on.

Those of us who have oil money are busy accumulating wealth and building housing, luxury developments, state-of-the-art universities and schools, and new highways and byways. Those of us who share borders with Israel, such as Egypt and Jordan, have signed a peace treaty with it and are not going to war for you any time soon. Those of us who are far away, in places like North Africa and Iraq, frankly could not care less about what happens to you.

Only Syria continues to feed your fantasies that someday it will join you in liberating Palestine, even though a huge chunk of its territory, the entire Golan Heights, was taken by Israel in 1967 and annexed. The Syrians, my friends, will gladly fight down to the last Palestinian Arab. Before you got stuck with this Hamas crowd, another cheating, conniving, leader of yours, Yasser Arafat, sold you a rotten bill of goods - more pain, greater corruption, and millions stolen by his relatives—while your children played in the sewers of Gaza.

The war is over. Why not let a new future begin?

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