Having trouble viewing? View this mailing online.

Facts and Logic About the Middle East

October 31, 2017

How Can We Identify the Jew-Haters? They Reject the Balfour Declaration . . . and Therefore, Israel.

Dear Friend of FLAME:

On Thursday, Britain, Israel—and all lovers of Israel—commemorate the drafting of the Balfour Declaration, which took place 100 years ago on November 2. For Zionists, it's a glorious day on which we raise a toast.

Yet the Palestinian Arabs—and many other Israel haters—will not be commemorating, let alone celebrating.

Balfour's Declaration—actually a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community—said "His Majesty's Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

Few Americans realize that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson saw and approved the text of Balfour's letter in advance, and the U.S. Congress in 1922 passed a resolution endorsing it, which President Harding signed.

The Palestinians, whiners to the end, started a campaign about a year ago trying to get the U.K. to apologize for the Balfour Declaration— which effort, Barukh HaShem, went nowhere.

Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will be attending many ceremonies in Great Britain honoring the Balfour statement and its ultimate consequence—the re-birth of the Jewish nation as Israel in 1948. Prime Minister Theresa May will be officiating, and even anti-Semite Labour-leader MP Jeremy Corbyn felt compelled to send a representative.

While the Palestinian Arabs lay the blame on Balfour and Britain for their misery, throughout the last 100 years, they have six times rejected the opportunity to found their own state—most crucially in 1947, in the face of the U.N. partition plan.

But let's just say it: If you don't like the Balfour Declaration, you don't like Jews. You don't believe that the Jewish people—the indigenous people of Palestine—among all the world's people, deserve a homeland. If you don't believe that—no matter what sympathy you might lend the Palestinians—you are anti-Semitic.

So, my friends, I think we have a pretty clear idea why the Palestinians are protesting the Balfour Declaration . . . and why they still have no state. They cannot countenance a Jewish state in their neighborhood—it simply wouldn't be ethnically clean enough.

But the Balfour Declaration has a greater meaning for the Jewish people. As this week's FLAME Hotline article, by firebrand Caroline Glick, points out, Balfour didn't create Israel and didn't "permit" Israel to be born. Rather it freed the Zionists from the chains of their limited vision—to imagine and will a Jewish state.

Glick provides a unique perspective on all the Balfour hoopla, and I believe her article will leave you inspired—not just because of what Balfour did 100 years ago, but because of the triumphant and yearning spirit it should instill in us today. If you only read one piece on the Balfour Declaration, you'll be glad you made it this one.

Please also take a quick minute also to review the P.S. below and click on the link to review FLAME's latest hasbarah effort, if you haven't done so yet. It discusses the most villainous of U.N. agencies, the UNHRC.

Best regards,

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


The U.N. Human Rights Council—already one of the most despicable anti-Semitic U.N. agencies—recently nominated 16 new members, including seven that U.N. Human Rights Watch deems unqualified for their poor human rights records: Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Qatar. The UNHRC has long been a forum for oppressive regimes to pass judgments on Israel, and this new crop of members is certain to continue that practice. The Middle East's only democracy and truly a light unto nations in so many ways, Israel suffers more condemnations by the UNHRC than all other nations together. In just the last year, the UNHRC passed twice as many resolutions against Israel as against North Korea and Syria combined. In order to make Americans—especially college and university students—aware of this injustice, FLAME has just produced and will soon publish a new position paper: "Exit the U.N. Human Rights Council ." This paid editorial will appear 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 Israel—comes from individuals like you, one by one. I hope 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 donate now. Now more than ever we need your support to ensure that the American people and the U.S. Congress end our support of blatantly anti-Semitic, global jihadist organizations.

As of today, more than 15,000 Israel supporters receive the FLAME Hotline at no charge every week. If you’re not yet a subscriber, won’t you join us in receiving these timely updates, so you can more effectively tell the truth about Israel? Just go to free subscription.

Balfour's Greatest of Gifts

By Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, October 27, 2017

This week Israel's judo team was harassed and discriminated against by UAE officials when they tried to board a flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul, en route to Abu Dhabi to participate in the Judo Grand Slam competition.

Apropos of nothing, UAE told the Israelis they would only be permitted to enter the UAE from Amman. And once they finally arrived at the competition, they were prohibited from competing under their national flag.

The discrimination that Israel's judokas suffered is newsworthy because it's appalling, not because it is rare. It isn't rare. Israeli athletes and performers, professors, students and tourists in countries throughout the world are regularly discriminated against for being Israeli Jews. Concerts are picketed or canceled. Israelis are denied educational opportunities and teaching positions.

Israeli brands are boycotted and Israeli shops are picketed from Montreal to Brooklyn to Johannesburg.

The simple act of purchasing Israeli cucumbers has become a political statement in countries around the world.

And of course, there is the world of diplomacy, where the nations of the world seem to have flushed the news of Israel's establishment 70 years ago down the memory hole. The near-consensus view of UN institutions and to a growing degree, of EU institutions, not to mention the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, is that the Jewish exile should never have ended. The Jews should have remained scattered and at the mercy of the nations of the world, forever.

In the face of the growing discrimination Israelis suffer and rejection Israel endures, how are we to look at the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, which we will mark next Thursday? One hundred years ago, on November 2, 1917, Arthur Balfour, foreign secretary of Great Britain, detonated a bomb whose aftershocks are still being felt in Britain and worldwide.

That day, Balfour issued a letter to Lord Walter Rothschild, the leader of the British Jewish community.

The letter, which quickly became known as the Balfour Declaration, effectively announced the British Empire supported an end of the Jewish people's 1,800-year exile and its return to history, as a free nation in its homeland—the Land of Israel.

In Balfour's immortal words, "His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object."

The Palestine Arab leadership at the time rejected his statement. Shortly thereafter the Arabs initiated a terrorist onslaught against the Jewish community in the Land of Israel that has continued, more or less without interruption, ever since.

Indeed, nothing at all has changed with the Palestinians. They have not moved an inch in a hundred years. PLO chief and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas now demands that Britain officially renounce the Balfour Declaration and apologize for having issued it as if Lord Balfour was still foreign secretary and David Lloyd George was still prime minster.

And their growing chorus of supporters at the UN, throughout the Islamic world, and in Europe is similarly stuck in 1917.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn't believe that the enduring Arab and international rejection of Israel's right to exist mitigates the significance of the Balfour Declaration. Next week he will travel to London to participate in the centennial commemorations of the Balfour Declarations at the side of British Prime Minister Theresa May.

May said on Wednesday that she is "proud" to commemorate the declaration. In her words, "We are proud of the role that we played in the creation of the State of Israel and we certainly mark the centenary with pride."

This was certainly nice of her. But May couldn't ignore the fact that a hundred years later, a large and growing number of people refuse to come to terms with what Britain did. So she added, "We must also be conscious of the sensitivities that some people do have about the Balfour Declaration and we recognize that there is more work to be done. We remain committed to the two-state solution in relation to Israel and the Palestinians."

So we return to the Palestinians, and the UAE, and the protesters who will be screaming out against Balfour and David Lloyd George from one end of Britain to the other next week demanding their declaration be withdrawn and history rolled back.

And the protesters of course aren't alone. Britain's main opposition party is being led by an ardent Israel-basher. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced on Monday that he will not be participating the Balfour centennial ceremonies.

It certainly makes sense for him to boycott them.

It would be awkward for a man who was elected and reelected after calling Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists his "friends," to be celebrating Britain's role in establishing the state his friends are working to destroy.

Corbyn's boycott, and his very rise to power, are clear signs that Balfour's legacy is a mixed bag.

Except that it isn't a mixed bag.

At a very deep level, Israel owes its existence to the Balfour Declaration. This is true not because the Balfour Declaration changed the way the world viewed the Jews. It manifestly did not—not in its own time, and not today.

Indeed, it is ironic that the Palestinians and their supporters blame the British for the establishment of Israel, because shortly after the Balfour Declaration was issued, British authorities, particularly on the ground in the Middle East, did everything they possibly could to cancel it.

In 1920, British military officers asked the local Arab strongman Haj Amin al-Husseini to incite a pogrom in Jerusalem over Passover. Husseini's thugs murdered four Jews and wounded many more. The purpose of the pogrom was to convince the British Parliament to cancel the Balfour Declaration.

The plan didn't work. And two years later the League of Nations established the British Mandate for Palestine on the basis of the Balfour Declaration.

The Mandate required Britain to fulfill the promise of the Balfour Declaration, by among other things facilitating mass Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel.

But the seeds of doubt were duly sown. Almost immediately after the League of Nations issued the Mandate, the British carved off three-quarters of the territory earmarked for the Jewish national home to create Trans-Jordan.

It was largely downhill from there. With each successive wave of Arab terrorism against the Jews, the British issued restrictions on Jewish immigration and limitations on the right of Jews to purchase land that grew harsher with each iteration. These actions paved the way for the 1939 White Paper which abrogated the Balfour Declaration in all but name. It renounced Zionism, and effectively ruled out any possibility of a viable Jewish state being established by blocking Jewish immigration and land purchase.

It also sealed the fate of the Jews of Europe, by denying them the ability to flee to the one place on earth that wanted them—their home.

British antagonism to Jews and their national liberation movement only grew in the postwar years. News of the Holocaust didn't move the British to fulfill their commitment under the Balfour Declaration. Instead, they threw Holocaust survivors into prison camps in Cyprus and raised the Arab Legion, the most powerful Arab military force in the 1948-49 War of Independence. Britain only recognized Israel in 1950.

So again why is Netanyahu making the trip to London? The answer is that while the Balfour Declaration didn't change the world, it changed the Jews.

After 1,800 years of dispersion and hopelessness, here was the British Empire saying that the time had come for the Jews to reconstitute themselves as a free nation in their land.

Theodor Herzl had held the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, 20 years earlier. Zionist pioneers laid the cornerstone for Tel Aviv and established the first kibbutz eight years earlier.

These were all significant milestones.

But until Great Britain announced it supported Zionism, the vast majority of Jews thought the national liberation movement was doomed to fail just like all of its messianic predecessors.

Suddenly, Balfour made it practically possible to achieve the goal of national liberation. Under the League of Nations Mandate, Jews were given an international charter for the reconstitution of their national homeland.

Just as important, the Balfour Declaration ignited the imaginations and passions of Jews throughout the world. For the first time since the fall of Betar (editor: Betar was the last standing Jewish fortress against the Roman army in 135 CE ), Jews, dispersed throughout the nations dared to believe that the reconstitution of Israel could happen in their lifetimes.

Of course, for 6 million Jews in Europe, it was not realized in time. But here too the Balfour Declaration was significant. The legitimacy that the Balfour Declaration conferred on Zionism in the eyes of world Jewry gave the Jews an answer to Hitler. As the Nazis rose to power, for the first time, the Jews knew what they needed to do and for the first time, the majority of world Jewry embraced Zionism.

After the Holocaust, that support became a demand. And due to the Balfour Declaration, the nations of the world—particularly the US—were empowered to stand up to the British government and demand that it step aside and allow the Jews to establish their state.

In other words, the Balfour Declaration didn't change the way non-Jews felt about the Jews. It empowered the Jews to change their fate. And it gave license to the nations of the world to support them—if only fleetingly in most cases—and so allowed history to change in a revolutionary way for the Jewish people.

Israel's first prime minister David Ben-Gurion famously said, "It doesn't matter what the gentiles say. It matters what the Jews do."

Ben-Gurion's statement was harsh. But it was also accurate, by and large. Generally speaking, the nations of the world have not supported the Jews, not in the Diaspora and not in Israel. Jewish survival has always been more a function of Jewish action than gentile sympathy.

But while accurate in the general sense, the routine hostility of the nations of the world mustn't make us overlook the enduring significance of their acts of friendship. The Balfour Declaration didn't change the whole world. It changed the Jewish world. It didn't change the Jewish world by creating a state for us. It changed the Jewish world by helping us to believe that we could fulfill our longing to return to Zion. And once we believed it, we did it.

So Netanyahu is right to travel to London to show his appreciation for the Balfour Declaration—protests or no protests. Indeed, he would be right to go to London even if Corbyn were prime minister and no one greeted him at the airport. By showing our enduring appreciation for what the British government did for the Jews a hundred years ago, we may inspire new unknown Balfours to stand with us tomorrow, even as the chorus of Balfour-haters drones on and on and on.





FLAME is the only organization that defends Israel with paid editorial hasbarah messages placed in media nationwide every month: The dire threats from Iran, Hamas and Hizbollah, the injustice of BDS, Palestinian anti-Semitism and more. If you support a bold voice that tells the truth about Israel in American media, please donate now.





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.


Flame Logo

Facts and Logic
About the Middle East
PO Box 3460
Berkeley, CA 94703

Copyright 2017 FLAME. All rights reserved.