Friend of FLAME:
At a Channukah dinner on Friday night, a young man introduced himself
to us as a "left-wing pro-Israel activist," who "supports human rights."
Being a polite guest, I resisted the temptation to observe that the
label "left-wing pro-Israel activist" sounds like an oxymoron.
Most leftists who claim they are pro-Israel are anything but,
since they generally favor policies, such as tearing down the security
fence and allowing the "right of Palestinian return" that would destroy
the Jewish state.
I also held off expressing my fervent support of human rights in
the Middle East---equal rights for women, equal rights for all
religious faiths, the right of free speech---because I suspect
the young man was not speaking of the most rampant civil rights violations
in the region, which are committed by the Arab nations, but rather
was referring to supposed violations by Israel of Palestinians' human
But any hardship on the Palestinians brought about by Israel's attempting
to defend itself from suicide bombers and Hamas rocket attacks pales
before the damage done to Palestinian society by Palestinians themselves
and Arab states in general. In a recent article---"What
does 'pro-Palestinian' really mean?"---Palestinian-born journalist
Khaled Abu Toameh, offers a long list of ways well-meaning Westerners
(especially leftists) can help the Palestinians. He suggests
they send teachers to the territories to teach Palestinian children
to speak English and send observers to Gaza to monitor human rights
violations and lawlessness by Hamas authorities.
Ironically, the Arab states do little to help the Palestinians either.
To the notorious United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA),
whose sole purpose is supposedly to help impoverished Palestinians
(and issue anti-Israel propaganda), the Arab nations contribute
little (Kuwait leads with $2.5 million/year) or nothing (Saudi Arabia
not a dime), while the U.S. ($94 million), Europeans ($116 million)
and other Western nations prop the agency up.
A few weeks ago, the nominal Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas
tried to whip up renewed worldwide support for the beleaguered Palestinian
people and his pathetic Fatah party by threatening to declare a
state. As this week's FLAME Hotline article points out,
this initiative was greeted on the world stage like moldy falafel.
Most international politicians, including the Arabs, either ignored
the announcement or mocked it.
In fact, Israeli journalist and author Dr. Guy Bechor notes in this
article below that the climate of worldwide opinion actually seems
to be swinging against the Palestinians and toward Israel.
While the Palestinians are often praised for their manipulation of
the world's sentiments (and the Israelis criticized for their lack
of PR acumen), the corrupt Palestinian leadership and the disarray
of the Palestinian political system are finally being seen for what
they are---enemies of a Middle East peace.
Best wishes for a happy Channukah and a merry Christmas!
Have you seen the
latest FLAME hasbarah message? Here's an advance preview:
It's titled "Israel:
A Light Unto the Nations---Those who demonize Israel are either
misinformed or malevolent." This piece tells the truth
about the Jewish nation---that it is an exemplary free and democratic
society, one that deserves to be praised and emulated. I suggest
you review it immediately, especially since we're entering the
season of hateful rallies on university campuses claiming that
Israel is an "apartheid state" (of course nothing could be farther
from the truth). To help set the record straight, this editorial
piece has just started to run in national media delivering more
than five million impressions, including to college students
and all U.S. Senators and Representatives. If you agree
that FLAME's outspoken brand of public relations on Israel's
behalf is critical, I urge you to support us. I hope as this
year comes to a close and the joyous holy days are upon us,
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 http://www.factsandlogic.org/make_a_donation.html.
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
the need to stop pressuring Israel for concessions and start focusing
on the higher-priority issue of Iran's development of nuclear
weapons, please write
again: Abbas' hopes dashed as world gives Palestinians cold shoulder
by Guy Bechor, December 10, 2009, Ynetnews
Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority finds it hard to believe that
it's happening: It is starting to be portrayed as a peace refusenik
in the world.
About a year ago, they were certain that good fortunes are ahead
and that an ideal American president will make all their wishes come
true. Yet within a year, the tables have turned, and instead of the
PA painting Netanyahu as a refusenik, the world is increasingly starting
to realize that the Palestinians are in fact the refuseniks.
Two moves by Netanyahu managed to change the picture:
First, his willingness to endorse a Palestinian state, without a return
of the refugees and without Jerusalem; a move that had the Palestinians
would have grabbed with both hands a while ago had they been serious
Then there is the temporary settlement freeze, which posed another
problem for Abbas. "Israel made a move, so why are you refusing to
negotiate with it?," he is being asked by world leaders. The burden
of proof has shifted to him, at a time when he has not made any concession
vis-a-vis Israel. The opposite is true—his PA continues to incite
While Israel is ready for negotiations, here and now, the Palestinians
are presenting preconditions and are losing the West's support. Preconditions
for talks with Israel? As if we never had Olso, mutual recognition,
and signed agreements. When it comes to Palestinian rights, the joint
agreements are alive and well, yet when it comes to recognizing Israel,
they suddenly dissipate.
In addition, the Palestinian leadership only recently got
hit with a slap in the face in the wake of the "unilateral
statehood" notion it came up with. The United States made it
clear in the most unenthusiastic and determined way that there is
no chance it will support such move.
Worse than that for the Palestinians: Even the European Union made
it explicitly clear that it will not endorse such unilateral move
or state. Such move contradicts the European worldview, which is based
on negotiations and mutual recognition.
Palestinians fail to understand
"Yet what about the hatred to Israel?," muttered the Palestinians,
who failed to realize that hatred for Israel does not equal sympathy
for the Palestinians. They confused anti-Israel sentiments with pro-Palestinian
sentiments. They failed to understand that many in the world hate
Israel, but are using the Palestinians as the fig leaf for this hatred.
The Palestinians were also stunned to see relations upgraded between
Israel and Europe, a move they attempted to curb. Palestinian Foreign
Minister, Riyad al-Maliki (formerly a member of the Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine) even condemned this.
The Palestinians fail to understand: How could Europe be moving
closer to Israel? They listened for too long to the hate broadcasts
of most Arab channels, which emphasize only the negative aspects about
Israel; just like anyone relying on these reports, they cannot understand
the real picture.
Even more disappointing for the Palestinians was the absence
of Arab support for the unilateral Palestinian move. Some
reminded them sarcastically that they already endorsed the Palestinian
state declared in 1988.
And so, the Palestinians have remained alone, again. Seemingly, everyone
supports them and competes to back them more loudly, yet at the moment
of truth, as always, they are left alone.
The Palestinians, who wanted to isolate the US and Israel with their
unilateral move, ended up isolating themselves, portraying themselves
as peace refuseniks, objecting to real ties with Israel as though
they wish to force their views on the world. The Obama Administration
is increasingly having reservations about them; they largely lost
The unilateral move exacted a heavy price on Abbas and his associates,
and at this time they have no idea about how to respond to Netanyahu,
who is waiting to talk to them.