September 26, 2017
President Trump's Blast at Iran in His U.N. Speech Was Welcome, But Will He Back It with Action?
Dear Friend of FLAME:
Before we consider the President's remarks about Iran in his U.N. speech
last week, let me take a moment to wish you a Shanah Tovah—a happy
Jewish New Year. In the face of formidable challenges currently confronting
the United States and Israel, may this coming year be a blessing to you,
your family, America, and the Jewish State.
In Mr. Trump's U.N. speech, we at FLAME were encouraged by his deservedly
harsh criticism of the Islamic Republic as a nation that "speaks openly of
mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel and ruin
for many leaders and nations in this room."
Of the Iran Nuclear Deal, the President vowed that "we cannot abide by an
agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program"—which the deal specifically does. He capped these comments calling the deal "an
Finally, President Trump said "Iran's government must stop supporting
terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors."
This rhetoric is a refreshing change from the last administration, which
tolerated Iran's aggression in missile development and its building of
terrorist military infrastructure in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, all for the sake of doing the Nuclear Deal—essentially an approved
pathway for Iran to acquire nuclear arms in 10 or so years.
The question now is, what will the Trump administration do concretely to
blunt the negative effects of the Nuclear Deal and restrain Iran's headlong dash to military hegemony in the Middle East—Israel's
neighborhood-and beyond? It won't be easy or cheap—and it most likely won't
be popular with a lot of our European allies.
In recent FLAME Hotline issues, we've highlighted the imminent
danger Iran poses to Israel as the Islamic Republic continues building a
"land bridge" from its national territory in the east, through Iraq, Syria
and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea—bringing the world's most belligerent
state sponsor of terrorism right to Israel's northern borders.
In this week's Hotline (below), we feature a short, but pithy
opinion piece by the editorial board of the Washington Post—written a few days before the U.N. General assembly—which praises Israel's devastating attack several weeks ago on a Syrian weapons
depot used to manufacture chemical and other weapons.
The Post expresses hope that Israel's bold, definitive use of
force will inspire President Trump to consider similar measures to halt Iran's march west through sovereign—though unstable—nations,
in its effort to colonize a broad swath of the region.
The op-ed calls on Mr. Trump to recognize the huge threat Iranian schemes
in Syria pose to the U.S . . . and to Israel. We couldn't agree more. ISIS is a dramatically lesser—and daily decreasing—problem in the
Middle East compared with the burly, well-funded, expansionist Iran.
We hope the Post editorial—and the support of FLAME and voters
like you—help fortify the President for difficult steps he must take
against Iran in the coming months.
hope you'll also quickly review the P.S. immediately below, which
describes FLAME's long-running hasbarah campaign to stop the U.S. Congress from funding Palestinian terrorism. If
you haven't yet, please email and call your U.S. Senators to encourage
their vote for the Taylor Force Act. Go right now to the
U.S. Senate directory
and choose your state: Your Senators, as well as their email address
and phone numbers will appear. Please use both—it's one thing you can do to support Israel today.
President, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)
Did you know: By subsidizing the corrupt Palestinian Authority (P.A.)
with aid of some $450 million taxpayer dollars a year, the U.S. is also
funding the P.A.'s program of paying salaries to Palestinian terrorists who
have killed innocent Americans and Israelis? In order to make
Americans—especially college and university students—aware of this
Palestinian practice of rewarding jihadi assailants and murderers with U.S.
funds, FLAME has recently been publishing a new position paper: "U.S. Funds Palestinian Terrorism" This paid editorial has appeared in magazines and newspapers, including
college newspapers, with a combined readership of some 10 million people.
In addition, it is being sent to every member of the U.S. Congress and
President Trump. 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—and U.S. support of
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Israel's strike in Syria should be a wake-up call for Trump
, Washington Post, September 14, 2017
ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu says he's looking forward to
meeting "my friend" President Trump next week at the United Nations. But the warm feelings
might not be wholehearted. Israel's leaders are deeply disturbed these days
by what they see as a mounting threat from Iran and its proxies in
Syria—and by the reluctance of the Trump administration to do anything
The gulf between the two allies was made clear last week when, on the same
day Israel carried out an audacious
on a Syrian military facility, Mr. Trump
at a news conference that "we have very little to do with Syria other than
killing ISIS." From Mr. Netanyahu's point of view, that's exactly the
problem. The Israeli leader has
in recent weeks against Iran's steps toward "turning Syria into a base of
military entrenchment," including the construction of sites to build
sophisticated guided missiles for possible use against Israel and its
attempt to consolidate control over a land corridor stretching across Syria
to Lebanon. He has objected to
brokered by Russia and the United States in southern Syria that, Israel
says, allows Iranian-backed forces to hold on to positions too close to
Israel's border. And he
that the international deal limiting Iran's nuclear activities should be
scrapped or revised.
Throughout the Syrian civil war, Israel has quietly carried out
to stop Iran's principal proxy in the region, the Lebanese militia
Hezbollah, from acquiring advanced weapons and to prevent Iran's forces
from advancing too far south.
Israel's Air Force chief, there have been close to 100 such missions. But
the Sept. 7 attack was something new. It
not a warehouse or convoy but one of the Syrian missile production
facilities Mr. Netanyahu referred to, on a base that also was
used for the manufacture of chemical weapons and the barrel bombs used by
the regime of Bashar al-Assad against civilians.
If it slows the production of those deadly weapons, Israel's attack will
have done a service for humanity as well as itself. It also should have
served as a wake-up call for the Trump administration. Mr. Trump has been
slow to recognize that the United States has vital interests in Syria
beyond eliminating the Islamic State—and that those interests don't
coincide with those of Russia, which has been working in tandem with Iran.
By expanding into Syria, Iran is escalating what is already a major threat
to Israel. Since the
between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, Tehran has supplied its client with
an arsenal of up to 150,000 rockets,
Israeli sources. Adding precision missiles to that, as well as a
along the Golan Heights, could make another war inevitable—one that could
become a direct conflict between Israel and Iran.
We don't believe the Trump administration should rupture the nuclear deal,
which has restrained Iran's dangerous stockpiling of enriched uranium. But
the United States should be taking its own steps to block the Iranian
"entrenchment" in Syria that Mr. Netanyahu spoke of. Diplomacy might
achieve some of that, but military steps should not be ruled out.
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FLAME'S WEEKLY HOTLINE E-NEWSLETTER
FLAME's Hotline e-newsletter keeps you up to date on the most important pro-Israel advocacy issues and features our choice of the week's most informative and thought-provoking article on Israel and the Middle East. If you only subscribe to one pro-Israel news service, make it the FLAME Hotline.