Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Letters to the Editor

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

FLAME in Context

Gerardo Joffe's (president of FLAME) response letter (Dec. 2005 "Letters to the Editor") accusing the Washington Report of obsession with investigating the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty and "editorial hatred of Israel" (code for prejudice against Jews) cannot be read without considering the record of cultural ignorance shown in how FLAME has carried out its primary mission-to produce and place ads to "educate" people about the Israel-Arab conflict. FLAME calls the ads "educational and clarifying ads, which appear monthly in major national magazines and metropolitan newspapers" in its own fund-raising materials. One ad that ran in magazines between 10 and 15 years ago, began with the tagline "Myths About Israel and the Middle East (1)" and stated "Myth: The 'Palestinians' are a nation and therefore deserving of a homeland." The section of the ad ended with the claim that "[t]he socalled 'Palestinians' are no more different from the Arabs living in the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan than Wisconsinites are from lowans." The html version of the ad on the FLAME web site is signed by Mr. Joffe.

Other "educational and clarifying ads" highlighted in their past fund-raising materials have "educated" about subjects such as "Jordan: Is it or is it not Palestine," "The 'Troubles' in Israel: Should Israel withdraw from the 'West Bank' and Gaza," and "Gaza: Are its inhabitants being 'subjugated' by the Israelis."

Joffe's monolithic descriptions of those who commit acts of terrorism, as done by 'Arabs" and "Jihadists," continues such a lamentable record of cultural and historical ignorance. Spreading it again will not serve to create conditions that create a just, sustainable, lasting, durable peace even Mr. Joffe should hope to live long enough to see.

Jonathan Cubits, Bethesda, MD

We don't believe Mr. Joffe is "ignorant." That's why we contend that FLAME stands not for "Facts and Logic... " but rather "Fallacies and lies About the Middle East." While we plan to continue reporting on Israel's 1967 attack on the USS Libertywhich seems inevitably to generate a missive from Mr. Joffe-we do take the point of you and other readers that his poisonous prevarications no longer should take up precious space on these pages-unless in the following form:

Revolting Pack of Lies

Saw this revolting pack of lies as a fullpage [FLAME] ad in a recent U.S. News and World Report. As a long-time subscriber, thought you might be interested!

And God bless you for all your wonderful work.

Elizabeth A. Bernstein, Paradise, CA

Fallacies and lies in The Nation

I am enclosing an article from my recent copy of The Nation. I am outraged at the false information contained in this "advertisement" in The Nation magazine.

Frances Matthews, Glen Burnie, MD

P.S. A number of years ago I read a book that claimed, rightly so I believe, that the people living in the area now called Palestine intermarried with the local tribes. Therefore, the Jews who lived in this area intermarried with the other "tribes" in the area. These people became known as 'Arabs."

We're not surprised that FLAME ads are a staple of a publication owned by fellow Israel-firster Mortimer Zuckerman. More distressing was to see them in the Nationwhich, despite numerous protests from readers, continued to publish the ads in the name of "freedom of speech." Only when the revisionist Institute for Historical Review sought to run an ad, presumably on the same principle, did the Nation decide it was time to "re-evaluate" its advertising policy. We'd be interested to hear from readers if they see an IHR ad in that publication.

P.S. We've always believed that, if there are Palestinian Muslims and Palestinian Christians, there must be Palestinian Jews as well. In fact, we met a member of the Orthodox Jewish group Neturei Karta who described himself in those very words. …

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