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

January 10, 2017

Why did Obama, Kerry and the U.N. Think It’s OK to Attack Israel (Again)?

Dear Friend of FLAME:

I don’t know about you, but sometimes the world is so consistently—and so outrageously—lopsided against Israel, I start feeling that anti-Israel (and anti-Semitic) behavior by the world’s players is somehow normal. It certainly is usual.

Thank goodness the U.S. House of Representatives reminded us that there are some just and honorable people in this world. In an overwhelmingly bipartisan 342-80 vote, the House resolved to oppose the anti-Israel U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which President Obama allowed to pass several weeks ago by having the U.S. abstain.

The House Resolution also puts the body on record standing against any further U.N. resolutions that impose or presume solutions to the Israel-Palestinian conflict before the two parties agree to them through negotiations. Of course, Congress had already communicated that sentiment to the President, who ignored it perfunctorily.

The astounding disconnect afflicting Obama and Secretary of State Kerry is that they blame Israel—and its “settlements”—for the lack of a peace agreement with the Palestinians. On the other hand, nearly all Congressional members and prominent Middle East negotiators conclude that the Palestinians are the roadblock and that settlements are a mere asterisk to be dealt with in negotiations.

Clearly Mssrs. Obama and Kerry refuse to connect the dots that lucidly show why an Israel-Palestinian peace is currently impossible for four glaring reasons:

1. The Palestinians refuse to accept the presence of a Jewish state and refuse to give up the “right” for up to 5 million ancestors of Arab refugees (from 1947) to “return” to a land—Israel—most have never set foot in. Such an influx of Arabs would de facto eliminate Israel’s Jewish majority . . . and effectively the Jewish state.

2. There is no unified Palestinian government that can agree to peace with Israel, since the Palestinian Authority in the “West Bank,” run by Mahmoud Abbas, is irreconcilably separated from the terrorist Hamas militants who rule Gaza and openly vow to destroy the State of Israel.

3. Mahmoud Abbas, now almost 82 years old, in the 11th year of a four-year presidency and increasingly unpopular among his people, has groomed no successor to his reign, guaranteeing political chaos will ensue when he dies or becomes unable to “serve.”

4. The Palestinians steadfastly refuse to negotiate peace with Israel, despite all efforts of Mr. Kerry and Israel’s acquiescing in 2010 to a 10-month moratorium on “settlement” building.

With all these compelling reasons—and many more—explaining why peace is impossible due to Palestinian recalcitrance and dysfunction, why do Obama and Kerry and so many nations at the U.N. continue to beat up on and blame Israel?

To get an answer, I encourage you to read the concise article below by the brilliant classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Victor Davis Hanson. Mr. Hanson provides an “emperor-has-no-clothes” explanation for the disproportionate hate Israel receives in the world.

Most importantly, this article will prepare you to explain to others why, in the face of all the unconscionable terrorism, torture and slaughter that people suffer globally, the world’s nations choose obsessively to condemn Israel’s building of houses in a part of its ancestral homeland.

Finally, I hope you’ll also quickly review the P.S. immediately below, which describes FLAME’s current hasbarah campaign to expose the Palestinians’ funding of Islamic terrorists using U.S. taxpayer dollars.

Best regards,

Jim Sinkinson
President, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)



We at FLAME usually focus, as we should, on the challenges Israel faces in the world—the unfair treatment the Jewish state receives at the hands of the U.N., continuing rocket, gun, car and knife attacks by Arab terrorists, and the existential threat that confronts Israel from Iran. But what we must not forget is the amazing success story that Israel represents for Jews, for the United States and for civilization itself. It’s inspiring! To clarify, celebrate and publicize the good news about Israel, FLAME published a hasbarah message—“Why Israel Matters”—in media reaching 10 million readers. I hope you'll review this powerful position paper and pass it on to all your contacts who will benefit from this message. If you agree that FLAME's bold---but costly---brand of public relations on Israel's behalf is critical, I urge you to support our publication of such outspoken messages. Please consider giving donation now, as you're able---with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To start or renew your membership online, just go to donate now. Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that Israel gets the support it needs---from the U.S. Congress, from President-elect Trump, and from the American people.

Why the sudden hatred of Israel?

The Jewish state is a stand-in for Jews in a revival of anti-Semitism

By Victor Hanson Davis, Washington Times, January 4, 2017

Secretary of State John Kerry, echoing other policymakers in the Obama administration, blasted Israel last week in a 70-minute rant about its supposedly self-destructive policies.

Why does the world—including now the United States—single out liberal and lawful Israel but refrain from chastising truly illiberal countries?

Mr. Kerry has never sermonized for so long about his plan to solve the Syrian crisis that has led to some 500,000 deaths or the vast migrant crisis that has nearly wrecked the European Union.

No one in this administration has shown as much anger about the many thousands who have been killed and jailed in the Castro brothers’ Cuba, much less about the current Stone Age conditions in Venezuela or the nightmarish government of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, an ally nation.

President Obama did not champion the cause of the oppressed during the Green Revolution of 2009 in Iran. Did Mr. Kerry and Mr. Obama become so outraged after Russia occupied South Ossetia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine?

Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was never so impassioned over the borders of Chinese-occupied Tibet, or over Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.

In terms of harkening back to the Palestinian “refugee” crisis that started in the late 1940s, no one talks today in similar fashion about the Jews who survived the Holocaust and walked home, only to find that their houses in Eastern Europe were gone or occupied by others. Much less do we recall the 11 million German civilians who were ethnically cleansed from Eastern Europe in 1945 by the Soviets and their imposed Communist governments. Certainly, there are not still “refugee” camps outside Dresden for those persons displaced from East Prussia 70 years ago.

More recently, few nations at the U.N. faulted the Kuwaiti government for the expulsion of 200,000 Palestinians after the liberation of Kuwait by coalition forces in 1991.

Yet on nearly every issue—from “settlements” to human rights to the status of women—U.N. members who routinely violate human rights target a liberal Israel.

When Mr. Obama entered office, among his first acts were to give an interview with the Saudi-owned news outlet Al Arabiya championing his outreach to the mostly non-democratic Islamic world and to blast democratic Israel on “settlements.”

Partly, the reason for such inordinate criticism of Israel is sheer cowardice. If Israel had 100 million people and was geographically large, the world would not so readily play the bully.

Instead, the United Nations and Europe would likely leave it alone—just as they give a pass to human rights offenders such as Pakistan and Indonesia. If Israel were as big as Iran, and Iran as small as Israel, then the Obama administration would have not reached out to Iran, and would have left Israel alone.

Israel’s supposed Western friends sort out Israel’s enemies by their relative natural resources, geography and population—and conclude that supporting Israel is a bad deal in cost-benefit terms.

Still, about 40 percent of the world’s oil is sold by Persian Gulf nations. Influential nations in Europe and China continue to count on oil imports from the Middle East—and make political adjustments accordingly.

Partly, anti-Israel rhetoric is due to herd politics.

The Palestinians—illiberal and reactionary on cherished Western issues like gender equality, homosexuality, religious tolerance and diversity—have grafted their cause to the popular campus agendas of race/class/gender victimization.

Western nations in general do not worry much about assorted non-Western crimes such as genocides, mass cleansings or politically induced famines. Instead, they prefer sermons to other Westerners as a sort of virtue-signaling, without any worries over offending politically correct groups.

Partly, the piling on Israel is due to American leverage over Israel as a recipient of U.S. aid. As a benefactor, the Obama administration expects that Israel must match U.S. generosity with obeisance. Yet the U.S. rarely gives similar “how dare you” lectures to less liberal recipients of American aid, such as the Palestinians for their lack of free elections.

Partly, the cause of global hostility toward Israel is jealousy. If Israel were mired in Venezuela-like chaos, few nations would care. Instead, the image of a proud, successful, Westernized nation as an atoll in a sea of self-inflicted misery is grating to many. And the astounding success of Israel bothers so many failed states that the entire world takes notice.

But partly, the source of anti-Israelism is ancient anti-Semitism.

If Israelis were Egyptians administering Gaza or Jordanians running the West Bank (as during the 1960s), no one would care. The world’s problem is that Israelis are Jews. Thus, Israel earns negative scrutiny that is never extended commensurately to others.

Mr. Obama and his diplomatic team should have known all this. Perhaps they do, but they simply do not care.


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