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August 17, 2004
Friend of FLAME:
The Connecticut Jewish Ledger, while not the largest Jewish newspaper
in the United States, features consistently excellent editorials, which
are quite in tune with our own positions. We have often addressed --
in our published hasbarah messages and in our website messages -- the
importance of transferring the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. This transfer was mandated by Congress
several years ago. All presidential candidates have promised during
their campaigns to implement this mandate of Congress as soon as they
were in office, and, after having been elected, all of them have reneged
on it under the pretext of "national security." The following
editorial from the Connecticut Jewish Ledger illuminates the fallacy
of this argument, of this excuse. Please consider this matter, the importance
it has to you personally, and what, if anything, one can do to see that
after this upcoming election whoever may prevail it finally
gets implemented. Having said that and hoping that it will not be misinterpreted
as electoral advice, I have written the letter that follows to President
Bush. If you agree you may wish to write a similar letter to President
Bush or, if you prefer, to Senator Kerry, who may well be our next president.
I have also written an almost identical letter, suitably modified of
course, to Senator Kerry.
Jerusalem and the 9/11 Report
Editorial, Connecticut Jewish Ledger, July 30, 2004
Now that its campaign season again, we are sure to hear that both
candidates want to move the United States embassy in Israel from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that would give de facto recognition to
Israels sovereignty over that city and allow it the right that
every other nation has to designate its own capital city.
All presidential candidates say they want to do that, but when elected,
none of our presidents make it happen. This despite the fact that Congress
demands it regularly and a majority of Americans support Congress
resolutions to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital by moving
our embassy there.
A key conclusion of the 9/11 report released last week is that America
is fighting an insidious ideology today and not just dealing with terrorism.
Terror is the tool being used by that ideology and is evidenced by the
violence it wreaks in Israel, Iraq and every other place around the
world where fundamentalist Islam attempts to assert its hegemony.
The United States
should offer an example of moral leadership
in the world, says the report, and just as we did in the
Cold War, we need to defend our ideals abroad vigorously
United States does not act aggressively to define itself in the Islamic
world, the extremists will gladly do the job for us.
One place where the U.S. fails to define itself on a regular basis is
Israel, and the most striking example of this equivocation is its obtuseness
By consistently opting to leave our embassy in Tel Aviv and not Jerusalem
all of our presidents defer to the State Department view of what is
right. In a diplomatic sense, being overly sensitive to the demands
of our Arab friends might be the most expedient thing to
do, but as far as moral leadership and defining ourselves
goes, it is a failure. Not only does it send the wrong message, but
also translates into a deadly policy for Israelis. By avoiding the issue
of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, State keeps Jerusalems
status on the negotiating table, and in the doing reaffirms for our
enemies the viability of their efforts to wrest Jerusalem from Israel
and reinforces their desire to end Israels existence. It is a
policy that sanctions violence and invites the intransigence and terror
that Israel faces daily. Americas interests are not served when
Israel is damaged or when she is weakened.
When America sends mixed signals about Israels right to exert
full sovereignty over Jerusalem we embolden her enemies and ours. Now
that we finally recognize we are at war with the same ideology that
Israel has been fighting for years, we have to change our thinking.
Our successful military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown that
we are long past our dalliance with the pique of the mythical Arab
Street and that we need to focus instead on our own role as a
moral leader for the free world. Moving our embassy to Jerusalem would
serve notice that we are abandoning the failed policy that panders to
Arab killers and terrorists and would give Israel the right we give
to every other sovereign nation: to designate its own capital.
Jews have lived in Jerusalem since time immemorial. A Jewish majority
has been in Jerusalem for as long as people have been keeping count,
and Jerusalem is the heart and soul of the Jewish people. The State
of Israel should, like any other nation, be able to name its own capital
city. A new American message to the world should be that from now on
America will support what is right instead of what is expedient and
in that way will we define our moral leadership. We will lead by example.
It is time for both candidates to put the State Department on notice
that the United States broader interests must be served, and moving
the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, serves them best.
A Letter to President Bush from Gerardo Joffe, President,
Dear Mr. President:
You have many things on your mind, mostly, I suppose, our war in Iraq
and the state of the economy. And understandably, you are concerned
about your chances for reelection. With the confused situation in Iraq
and the economy still being in somewhat of a slump, you have the right
to be concerned about that.
I believe your reelection would be assured if you were to do one thing
Follow the demand of Congress and declare (at least West) Jerusalem
to be the capital of Israel, and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to
By doing this you will likely gain a majority of the Jewish vote, which
would greatly improve your chances for reelection.
Also, many Christians are much concerned about our government's ambiguity
about Jerusalem and that Congress's will in that matter is being thwarted.
I am writing you in my personal capacity, but I am the president of
a major Jewish organization (FLAMEFacts and Logic About the Middle
East). I have my ear close to the Jewish community, and I know what
I'm talking about. In addition, many of our most devoted supporters
San Francisco, CA