Before inviting Iran to peace talks, Biden must insist we address all the threats—not just illicit nuclear weapons
Dear Friend of FLAME:
In recent weeks, we’ve experienced outrage . . . but also an unprecedented victory. Two incidents in recent weeks highlight the outrage—and one underscores the progress we pro-Israel advocates are making.
First, I trust you saw news reports that the European Union called the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh “criminal”—and many mainstream media “forgot” to mention his leadership in the Iranian military or that he was the architect of Iran’s secret nuclear weapons campaign.
Note that almost all new reports attributed the assassination to Israel—with zero evidence. Nearly all were critical in tone to the elimination of this terrorist scourge.
Think back to 2011: As you recall, there was almost no media or EU criticism when President Obama assassinated Osama bin Laden.
As you also know, this application of a double standard to Israel blatantly fits a key criterion for anti-Semitism. Blame the only Jewish state.
As you know, FLAME has run a position paper on Fakhrizadeh in our weekly Hotline update—“Why the assassination of Iran’s nuclear weapons czar was legal and justified”—forcefully repudiating the lie that this action was unethical. This message reached tens of thousands of Americans—both Hotline subscribers and Facebook visitors.
The second blow against Israel was struck by U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib, who last year falsely accused Israel of practicing South African-style apartheid. Just a few days ago she doubled down, calling for Palestinians to liberate the Holy Land “from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea”—meaning all of Israel.
I hope you’ve seen FLAME’s most recent op-ed—“The Israel Apartheid Lie”—which refutes Tlaib’s assertion and which last week ran in the Washington Post and is scheduled to run in USA Today in the coming days.
Israel also got some great news a few weeks ago, however, when the U.S. State Department announced that goods manufactured in Israeli-controlled Judea-Samaria (Area C of the West Bank) can be labeled as “made in Israel”!
That’s huge: Judea-Samaria is the heart of biblical Jewish homeland!
For many years, with your help, FLAME has published position papers in mainstream press supporting all these key issues:
✓ the need to increase pressure on Iran
✓ false accusations of apartheid
✓ Israel’s legal rights to build communities in the disputed territories
✓ Jerusalem recognition as Israel’s eternal capital
✓ and terminating Palestinians’ pay-for-slay policy.
Now in the United States we’re facing a new administration, many of whose members we expect to oppose Israel in the UN, many who think it’s possible to make “friends” with Iran and some who outrageously actually believe Israel should become a single Jewish-Arab state.
Won’t you continue to make our advocacy possible, with your tax-deductible donation today?
I hope you agree that it’s critical for Israel’s survival on the world diplomatic stage that the U.S. Congress continue Israel’s bipartisan support.
Yet every day, my friends, we’re reminded of the unrelenting forces aligned against the Jewish people . . . and the state of Israel . . . from radicals on both sides of the political spectrum.
You and I can both take heart in the miracle of Israel as the world’s one and only national refuge for Jews—and as a righteous light unto the nations. But we must keep telling this truth.
WITH YOUR HELP, WE WILL CONTINUE TO TELL ISRAEL’S INSPIRING STORY
You’ll be glad to know that we at FLAME have been extraordinarily busy lately, continuing our efforts to spread the truth about the Jewish state.
We continue of course to run our hasbarah efforts in national media, including in “the lion’s den”—the New York Times, one of Israel’s harshest and most unfair critics, in the influential Washington Post, and soon in USA Today. But of course, publishing these ads is very expensive—more than $30,000 each time in each publication.
But the New York Times also reaches some 2.6 million people with its Sunday edition—and the Washington Post reaches 1.5 million. We believe it’s important those readers—plus millions more who read USA Today and the Los Angeles Times—also receive the truth about Israel.
It behooves FLAME to keep stepping up to these challenges—and I hope you’ll step up as well with a generous donation at this time.
Last year we also launched our FLAME Facebook page , which gives us a chance to reach nearly half a million more people each month with our outspoken messages—now on the world’s most popular social media platform.
Won’t you take a minute to make your final 2020 donation at this time. Because only FLAME publishes the truth about Israel in national media every month.
In order to protect Israel, the overwhelming majority of American must realize that Israel’s cause is just—on the front lines in the battle against global Islamic jihad (starting with Iran), as a bulwark of pro-American stability in the treacherous Middle East, and as America’s most steadfast ally in the world.
As you know, these are precisely the messages that FLAME delivers every month in media—including in college newspapers—that reach millions and millions of Americans.
Just to remind you: FLAME has published PR for Israel over the past months on these critical issues (linked to our website, in case you’d like to review them):
“Is a Two-State Solution Still Possible?”
“Israel’s Settlements: Obstacle to Peace?”
“Anti-Zionism Is Racism”
“BDS, Academic Freedom and Anti-Semitism”
These messages are powerful PR for Israel—and we’ve published dozens more—but as I’m sure you can imagine, telling the truth about Israel via such paid editorial messages in media nationwide is costly. Are you ready to join us for 2021?
Here’s the double payoff for making a membership donation to FLAME before year’s end:
First, you help tell the truth about Israel in the media—something that’s urgently needed if we’re to maintain the support of all Americans over the coming year.
Second, you can celebrate the upcoming holidays with even more joy in your heart, because you have done a mitzvah for Israel—a generous good deed appropriate to the season.
That’s why, if you don’t want to let criticism of Israel go unanswered, if you don’t want one-sided news stories about Israel to go uncorrected, and if you’ve ever bemoaned Israel’s “bad PR,” I urge you to help FLAME with your financial support at this time. Just go to donate to join us and help now.
Please remember that the nearly 100% of FLAME’s financial support comes from individuals just like you. One by one, Jews, Christians and unaffiliated alike contribute generously to this noble cause—to help ensure that Israel survives.
So whether you give $1,000 or $500 or $100 . . . or even $50 or $36 or $18—every membership donation is important—every dollar you contribute helps us keep telling the truth about the inspiring Jewish nation.
Best of all, of course, your donation is tax-deductible.
Won’t you act now to make your membership donation online? Just go to donate now.
Thanks in advance for your year-end generosity and your continued support of FLAME’s good work.
President, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)
||In order to continue running FLAME hasbarah messages in the New York Times and Washington Post—as well next in USA Today and the Los Angeles Times—FLAME will spend more than $30,000 for each. I urge you to help us meet this challenge. You need not donate $10,000 or even $5,000. Please join the tens of thousands of FLAME supporters who make one or more smaller donations annually to help us continue our work to defend Israel against the hypocrites and haters. Help us deliver our messages consistently in the mainstream media. Please donate now.
||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— these critical issues (linked to our website, in case you’d like to review them): “Why Israel Matters” —in media seen by millions and millions of 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 a membership 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 the President, and from the American people.
Dear Friend of FLAME:
After four years of diplomatic and economic hammering on Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program by the Trump administration, Joe Biden has made clear that he intends to re-engage with the Islamic Republic.
According to some reports, Biden intends to bring the U.S. back, with no preconditions, to the failed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—President Obama’s “Iran Deal” or JCPOA—signed in July 2015.
What’s unclear is how Biden intends to deal with Iran’s cheating on the original JCPOA, plus five momentous years that have transpired since 2015, or with demands Iran is already making that the U.S. pay it reparations as punishment.
President Trump famously withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, calling the agreement “horrible” and said the United States would “work with our allies to find a real, comprehensive, and lasting solution” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms. This was a position welcomed by many American allies in the region, like Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Nonetheless, Biden has indicated on a number of occasions his eagerness to renew the JCPOA. “If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations,” then-candidate Biden wrote in September. “With our allies, we will work to strengthen and extend the nuclear deal’s provisions, while also addressing other issues of concern.”
In fact, it is precisely the long list of such other “issues of concern” that Biden should place ahead of any return to negotiations over the Iranian nuclear weapons program, because at the moment the Islamic Republic is a massive force of instability, bloodshed and treachery in the region.
One of the reasons the JCPOA failed is that it only addressed the nuclear weapons issue, and then only temporarily, but failed to deal with Iran’s problematic role in the region and beyond, especially its hegemonic ambitions. Let’s start with Iran’s imperialist agenda.
Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, the ruling Ayatollahs have embarked on an ideology of Gharbzadegi, which is the concept that all foreign ideas and western culture are a plague that needs to be eradicated. While the Iranian regime has claimed to oppose colonialism, it has simultaneously created an empire of influence and physical presence throughout the region through the import of its radical Shiite worldview, largely through proxies. Its repressive might has been felt widely in the region—through violence in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen that have cost millions of lives.
In addition, Iran has a proliferation of sophisticated weapons systems that have wreaked destruction throughout the region. While there is an official weapons embargo placed on Iran, its arms are regularly sent to its proxies, usually terrorist groups, like Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen. They have also been used further afield—in attacks against Saudi oil refineries, as well as in Africa and Latin America, with illicit economic activity, smuggling illegal material, espionage, and the training of armed subversive groups
In other words, to focus only on Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons capability—as the JCPOA did— misses a larger problem: Nuclear arms are only Iran’s means to a nefarious end. This capability is being developed to help it gain a firmer grip over regional opponents, threaten enemies and strong-arm allies.
In fact, Iran’s presence is felt in every single conflict in the region, and the JCPOA failed to stop—let alone address—the bloodshed.
For President-elect Biden and his team, President Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA and the “maximum economic pressure” he placed on Iran present a prime opportunity. If Team Biden wants to make a better deal with Iran, they need to seize the negotiating advantage Trump has left them and acknowledge the region’s new realities.
First, the Iranians have not held up their end of the bargain, neither halting their nuclear research nor their weapons development. Furthermore, Iran’s imperialist hunger was only whetted by the JCPOA sanctions relief, the billions of dollars in payments it received from the West, and the preferential seat it received at the top table of global diplomacy.
Second, the Biden administration needs to recognize that the Iranian regime has historically responded not to kindness, but to intense leverage. The relatively small window when U.S. troops were on the ground en masse in Iraq and Afghanistan also coincided with the slowest pace and even the stalling of Iran’s nuclear program. Trump’s sanctions have also had an effect, bringing the fragile Iranian economy to its knees. President-elect Biden needs to use all of the tools at his command and sustain maximum pressure in order to ensure more preferable concessions from the Iranians.
Above all, Biden’s negotiations goal—should the Iranians even agree to sit down with him—should not be friendship, but rather aim resolutely to satisfy core U.S. interests. After all, the U.S. and its allies face serious threats and we now hold the cards.
If the U.S. returns to the JCPOA, Iran must agree to a complete, total and permanent halt to its nuclear weapons program, even the reversal of all non-civilian or dual-use elements of nuclear technology. The next U.S. Administration should also ensure that the Islamic Republic halts its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015), which calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such long-range missile technology.
Finally, Iran must cease colonization of its neighbors and other forms of invasive terror. It must cease its funding for foreign terrorists, stop its involvement in regional conflicts and end the violent export of extremist Shiite revolutionary ideology.
I hope you will point out to friends, family, colleagues and your elected representatives that if President-elect Biden can achieve these reasonable points, the region will indeed become a safer place. We will see greater peace and reconciliation between many groups—such as warring parties in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen—as well as the warming of relations we are witnessing between Israel and Arab Gulf nations.
Achieving these goals would be worthy of Mr. Biden’s efforts. Merely slowing down Iran’s development of nuclear weapons—as the original JCPOA attempted to do—would be more than a waste of time. It would inject greater alarm and heightened danger into the already precarious Middle East.
I hope you’ll also take a minute, while you have this material front and center, to forward this message to friends, visit FLAME’s lively Facebook page and review the P.S. immediately below. It describes FLAME’s new hasbarah campaign—which exposes the outrageous, false accusation that Israel is an “apartheid state.”
President, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)
||Every year, dozens of major American colleges and universities host Israel Apartheid Week, sponsored by radical pro-Palestinian groups like Students for Justice in Palestine. In addition, critics of Israel also assert that Israel is or will soon become an apartheid state. As you know, nothing is further from the truth. Israel guarantees equal rights to all its citizens and its laws bear zero resemblance to any of the hateful rules of apartheid South Africa, where the term was invented. To clarify this point, FLAME has created a new hasbarah message called “The Israel Apartheid Lie.” I hope you’ll review this convincing, fact-based paid editorial, which will run in USA Today, the Washington Post, and other media nationwide. It spells out specific tenets of apartheid and refutes the apartheid calumny against Israel point by point. This piece will also be sent to all members of Congress, Vice President Pence 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, the U.S. Congress and the President stay committed to realistic policies in relation to Israel, Iran and the entire Middle East.
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