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

March 24,2009

Arabs and leftists deny Israel’s right to exist because they deny history

Dear Friend of FLAME:

At Shabbat services last Friday evening, I took particular note of how many times we referred to Eretz Yisrael or HaAretz---the land of Israel---in our prayers, the same prayers Jews have been soulfully chanting for thousands of years.  The Promised Land, Zion, the concept of Israel as the Jewish homeland, is woven deeply and dramatically into the daily and weekly fabric of Jewish experience.  Indeed, during Passover, which is approaching next month, we annually tell the tale of our flight from Egypt to return to Israel.

How cruelly ironic that in Palestinian school books and those of other Arab countries, the state of Israel does not exist---it simply does not appear on maps of the Middle East.  The Arabs, along with many leftists, consider the Jews to be colonialists---white people who showed up after World War II to conquer and exploit a Middle East land populated by poor, defenseless Arabs.  Indeed, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman, tabbed by President Obama and then ousted as head of the National Intelligence Council---whom we profiled in a recent FLAME Hotline---has referred to Israel's founders as "talented European settlers."  This convenient and condescending misrepresentation of history allows Israel's enemies to protest indignantly Jewish "occupation" of the land of Israel.

Yet, of course, Jews have not only dreamed of settling in Israel since before the time of Moses, but they have actually lived there as a people for more than 3,000 years.  None of these original Jews were Europeans---many were and still are dark-skinned Semites, born in the Middle East and Africa.  While Israel has surely benefited from the contributions of many "talented European settlers," it has benefited no less from the tenacity of hundreds of generations of Jews who toughed it out under the Romans, Babylonians, Turks and British who alternately conquered and ruled this holy land over the centuries.

Ironically, as this week's article by Israeli historian Moshe Dann points out, it is the Arabs---so-called Palestinians---who were the latecomers.  Dann takes the logic of Jewish rights to Eretz Yisrael even further, arguing that Jews have as much a right to the West Bank as they do to Tel Aviv.  It's not the Jews who are usurpers, he says, but the Arabs.  To deny Jewish  rights in the Holy Land is to deny the right of Jews to create the civilization that our history and our Torah hold out to us.

Dann's perspective is a refreshing contrast to the cries against Israel we hear on college campuses, at demonstrations around the world, and, apparently, even from Obama's doomed appointee.  Please review this brief piece---I guarantee you'll find it interesting and useful.

Best regards,

Jim Sinkinson
Director, FLAME


In the face of propaganda by the likes of Jimmy Carter, Charles Freeman, college leftists and the authors Walt and Mearscheimer, FLAME regularly publishes explanatory "facts and logic" on such topics as "Israel's "Right to Exist" (II: How could anyone question such a right?".  This position paper debunks the notion that Zionism has roots in colonialism and has appeared in dozens of major publications nationwide.  To date it has made more than 10 million impressions in American homes, colleges and universities, and the offices of Congressional representatives.  Please check it out.  Above all, if you agree that FLAME's outspoken brand of public relations on Israel's behalf is critical, I urge you to support us. Remember: FLAME's ability to influence public opinion---to stand up against anti-Zionism, as well as Islamist terror---comes from Israel's supporters 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.

Jews in the Promised Land: It's our history, stupid
Moshe Dann, The Jerusalem Post, March 5, 2009;

The economy, terrorism and national defense are priorities for every country. But Israel adds an essential factor: historical memory.

Egypt has its pyramids; Rome has its Colosseum; Athens has its Acropolis—but, citizens of a modern state, the native populations feel little or no connection to their ancient cultures; their archeological sites are for tourists.

Jews, however, regard historical sites as confirmations of biblical references, providing intimate emotional links between present and past. Historical sites are bonds of identity, the reason that Jews are drawn to Israel, despite the difficulties, and why they struggle to survive in their homeland. Life may be more comfortable in other places; here, from the time of the Bible to modern times, it's where much of Jewish history happened. That is why this country is so meaningful.

Jewish national and religious consciousness - indisputably rooted exclusively in Eretz Yisrael—is the primary basis for the State of Israel's existence. The return of the Jewish people to its ancient homeland is the fulfillment of ancient prophesies and prayer—the core of its ethos and national identity and central to the process of redemption.

Confirmed by history, each new archeological discovery is a thrilling reminder of where and how Jews lived thousands of years ago. As if "beamed down," we are transported into that ancient world which lives again through us. The return of the Jewish people to Israel, the process of ingathering from around the world, the rebuilding and flourishing of a state is nothing less than a renaissance of the Jewish people.

But, as much as we are proud of our accomplishments, it fuels the enmity of our enemies. That our historical and legal claim to Eretz Yisrael is disputed by those who deny Israel's right to exist is understandable. Recognition of any part of that claim would undermine any alternative (Palestinian/Syrian) national/historic rights. Yet, some Jews, including Israelis, propose the abandonment of Judea and Samaria, the heartland of Jewish history, to form a second Palestinian state, which would be, of course, terror-based and Judenrein.

Denying our sovereignty over any area of our ancient homeland negates our historic claims and our country's legal right to exist in any portion of its homeland. If it's "the occupation," then what's the difference between Tel Aviv and "the settlements," except location? And what makes one place holier than another? There is no authentic "Palestinian" archeology because there never was a coherent "Palestinian" ethnic, cultural or social group. Jews who lived in British Mandate Palestine used the term as a political reference; Arabs did not.

That Israel is a leader in high-tech, medicine and sciences, a nominally democratic country committed to the principles of egalitarianism, social and cultural freedom, a bastion of Western values is very nice; these are not, however, a reason to exist.

Israel's raison d'etre is its continuity as the ancient/modern homeland of the Jewish people. Without acknowledging that historical reference, Jews have no better claim to "Palestine" than any other group.

The issue is not simply over territory, or sovereignty, or the legal rights of the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael, but to create a uniquely Jewish civilization.

That challenge must be defined, grounded in Jewish history, tradition and culture. Approached from the perspective of peoplehood, and contemporary political expediency, such efforts are doomed to irrelevancy.

To deny or distance oneself from one's history is self-rejection; to embrace one's history is affirmation. The great irony in the current debate over the nature of Zionism is that those who argue for secularism deny the legacy of the past; those who argue for a Torah-based state are in danger of exclusivity.

Attacked from all sides, physically by Arab and Muslim countries, and rhetorically by much of the international community, the UN and many NGOs, Israel's struggle as a nation is rooted in its connection to an authentic revealed history and its adherence to Torah values. Paradoxically, both religious and secular Zionism thrust Jews toward an engagement with history centered in the Land of Israel. Both cling to the uniqueness of Jewish history and it is precisely this link between the Jewish people, the Land of Israel and Torah that makes Zionism different from all other nationalisms. Israel's rebirth and flourishing prove that we are not at the end of history, but rather its continuing relevance, meaning and hope for all mankind.

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