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


April 13, 2010

President Obama, please get a perspective: The world's tiny Jewish population has already given up far too much.

Dear Friend of FLAME:

When a conversation I recently had with a friend of mine turned to the topic of Israel, he told me that Israel needed to "shape up". It quickly became apparent that my friend lacked perspective when it came to Israel's behavior. I asked him how many Jews he thought there were in the world and his response was ten percent of the world's total population. I was shocked at his over-estimation! When I told him that actually it's more like 0.2 percent, it was his turn to be shocked.

The lesson we can all learn from this is that we must provide some perspective to those people (including President Obama and his administration) who simply don't get why Israel cannot simply continue to "take risks for peace." Outside of the United States, Israel is the only country where Jews can expect to feel at home---but even this tiny sliver of land is surrounded by an ocean of venomous, violent hatred.

To get some perspective, let's start with what Jews have already lost. Ruth Wisse does just that in this week's featured Hotline article. She points out that property deeds of the over 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands amounted to 100,000 square miles, or five times the current size of Israel. These Jewish refugees have of course never been compensated for the theft of this land, nor for billions of dollars of other assets. So when President Obama expects us to believe that building an additional 1600 housing units in a Jewish neighborhood of the capital of Israel is a major catastrophe, how can he expect us to take him seriously, let alone believe him?

In addition to what Jewish refugees have already lost, Israel has given up even more in her search for peace with her Arab neighbors. Perhaps this administration should focus on the world's real catastrophes, rather than developing a UN-like obsession with Israel's behavior. When the Iranian regime stole the election and then brutally repressed and killed its citizens, President Obama didn't want to come across as meddling in Iran's internal affaires. When Israel builds in her capital, apparently meddling in her internal affairs is no problem at all.

As I told my friend loudly and clearly, and as we must all tell everyone loudly and clearly, Jews comprise the tiniest of minorities and have every right to govern their own very small country as they see fit. Without perspective, understanding Israel's impossible situation is simply not possible.

Best Regards,

Dave Nogradi
FLAME Hotline Contributor


For more on the history of Jewish refugees from Arab lands please read FLAME's position paper titled "The Forgotten Refugees: Why does nobody care about the Jewish refugees from Arab lands?" 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---from the U.S. Congress, from President Obama, and from the American people.


President Obama has asked for input from U.S. citizens on his Middle East policies. To give him your opinion about his unfair attacks on Israel with regard to Jerusalem, please write the President---immediately. To identify and contact your Senators and Representative, go to Contacting the Congress. (You'll need your nine [5+4] digit zip code to find your Representative, so locate an official envelope addressed to your home before visiting this website.) Please do your part to help Israel today.

How About an Arab 'Settlement' Freeze?
by Ruth Wisse, The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2010

When she is surrounded by a swirl of conversation she cannot understand, my two-year-old granddaughter turns to me expectantly: "What they talking about, Bubbe?" Right now, I would have to confess to her that the hubbub over 1,600 new housing units in Jerusalem defies rational explanation.

Of the children of Abraham, the descendants of Ishmael currently occupy at least 800 times more land than descendants of Isaac. The 21 states of the Arab League routinely announce plans of building expansion. Saudi Arabia estimates that 555,000 housing units were built over the past several years. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced during a meeting in Baghdad last year that "Some 10,000 units will be built in each province [of Iraq] with 100 square meters per unit" to accommodate citizens whose housing needs have not been met for a long time. Egypt has established 10 new cities since 1996. They are Tenth of Ramadan, Sixth of October, Al Sadat, Al Shurouq, Al Obour, New Damietta, New Beni Sueif, New Assiut, New Luxor, and New Cairo.

In 2006 the Syrian Prime Minister, Mohammad Naji Atri, announced a new five-year development plan that aims to supply 687,000 housing units. Kuwait expects to have a demand for approximately 100,000 private housing units by 2010. Last year Jordan's King Abdullah launched a National Housing Initiative, which aims to build 120,000 properties for low-income Jordanians.

Arab populations grow. And neighborhoods expand to house them. What's more, Arab countries benefited disproportionately from the exchange of populations between Jews and Arabs that resulted from the Arab wars against Israel. Since 1948 upward of 800,000 Jews abandoned their homes and forfeited their goods in Egypt, Iraq, Morocco and Yemen. In addition to assets valued at hundreds of billions of dollars, the property deeds of Jews from Arab lands is estimated at a total area of 100,000 square miles, which is five times the size of the state of Israel, and more than Israel would include even if it were to stretch over all the disputed territories of the West Bank.

These preposterous disparities are a result of contrasting political cultures. The Arab League was founded at the same time as Israel with the express aim of undoing the Jewish state's existence. Although much has changed over the ensuing decades, opposition to the Jewish state remains the strongest unifying tool of inter-Arab and Arab-Muslim politics. Trying to eliminate the Jews rather than compete with them has never benefited nations.

It is unfortunate that Arabs obsess about building in Israel rather than aiming for the development of their own superabundant lands. But why should America encourage their hegemonic ambitions? In December the White House issued a statement opposing "new construction in East Jerusalem" without delineating where or what East Jerusalem is.

Ramat Shlomo, the neighborhood at the center of the present altercation, is actually in northern Jerusalem, west of the Jewish neighborhoods of Ramot, home to 40,000 Jewish residents. Why does the White House take issue with the construction of housing for Jewish citizens within the boundaries of their own country? The same White House raised no objection when Jordan recently began systematically stripping citizenship from thousands of its Palestinian citizens rather than providing new housing units for them in a land much larger than Israel.

Perhaps Israel has been at fault for not doggedly insisting on unconditional acceptance of its sovereign existence, and for not demanding that Arab rulers adhere to the U.N. Charter's guarantee of "equal rights of . . . nations large and small." Preposterous as they would have thought it, perhaps Israelis ought to have called for a freeze on Arab settlements to correspond to unreasonable Arab demands on them.

Any peaceful resolution to the Middle East conflict will begin with a hard look at the map of the region in which 21 countries with 800 times more land are consumed with their Jewish neighbors' natural increase.

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