October 19, 2004
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 www.fuelfortruth.org.
Please pass this article on to your friends and acquaintances who
might benefit from such clarity.
The Top 10 Facts you need to know
about Israel and the Middle East conflict.
FLAME thanks Isralert@aol.com's
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.
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.