THE FREEMAN CENTER EXPOSED - THE GOOD AND THE BAD (?)
By Bernard J. Shapiro
Please read this message carefully.
The Freeman Center has been around for so long (since 1992) most people take it for granted. Readers depend on the Freemanlist daily news and commentary. We have always had a unique philosophy of being generous to other Zionist organizations and new authors. While most Jewish websites distribute only their own material, we send you a mixture of excellent material from many sources. Sort of a one stop shop for serious Zionists.
At the time we launched our website, there were less than 10 strong Zionist sites on the Internet. Today there are 10,000 Jewish sites, many of them Zionist. The new ones came up following our lead and copying our model. They had much more money and jazzier graphics. We have always concentrated on being primarily a text site for people wanting in depth reports and commentary on the news. In the USA, academics, the military, the government and many politicians read our reports. I don't claim to have convinced anybody of anything. We provided the information for sound judgments. Some understood it and some didn't.
Many love my no punches barred pro-Israel commentary on Israel and World events. Some object to how harsh my criticism is to the "democratically" elected government of Israel or the organized mainstream Jewish community in America. For my critics, I say, thank you . Why? If I pleased you and were popular , then I would not be worth "bucket of warm spit" (Harry Truman). Groucho Marx said it a little different: "I don't want to be a member of any organization that would have me."
Many important writers and political/military analysts got their start broadcasting on the web through the Freemanlist and in the Maccabean, including: Dan Nimrod, Lou Rene Beres, Yosef Bodansky, Boris Shusteff, Mark Langfan, Major Swawn M. Pine, Gerardo Joffe, Elyakim Haeztzni, David Wilder, Yoram Ettinger, Gary Cooperberg, Paul Eidelberg, Emanuel Winston, David Basch, Ariel Natan Pasko, Steven Shamrak and many more.
At the time we stared the Freeman Center, including The Maccabean and the Freemanlist, the self-destructive process know as Oslo, was rearing its ugly head. The Freeman Center (along with Arutz Sheva, Paul Eidelberg, Herbert Zweibon-AFSI, Women in Green (Ruth and Nadia Matar) and Moshe Feiglin) immediately began to protest and explain the truth to a nation deluded into thinking that "peace" was around the corner.
Some of my critics tell me that I have two major flaws: I don't live in Israel and I am not 100% Orthodox by their definition. The first criticism can be answered with three names: Shimon Peres, Ehud Olmert and Yossi Beilin. The 30% of Israelis who continue to support Kadima, Labor, Meretz and Peace Now demonstrate clearly that living in Israel is no guarantee of either intelligence or Zionism. I can assure you that Jabotinzky's historical instincts were far sharper than David Ben Gurion. Jabotinzky died in 1940 and never lived in Israel.
The argument about religion is more difficult to answer for me as a devoted Jew and Zionist. I should be fully Orthodox. Yet I am flawed and not able to be 100%. I was raised in a Reform Congregation that had bylaws that required members to sign an oath NOT to support a Jewish State. (It was repealed in 1967) I think I have come a long way. Many Orthodox Jews, both in America and Israel are not even Zionist and allow the destruction of Eretz Yisrael, through their indifference and lack of political action. Many Christians in this country are very pro-Israel and stand with the Jews 100%. In fact, they are more Zionist than most Jews. Should there be a religious test for them also? Paul Eidelberg recently wrote: "Bernard Shapiro is an outstanding and devoted Zionist. Would that Israel 's religious parties harbored his devotion to Eretz Yisrael ".
You are my friends for many years, and I must tell you about my biggest flaw. I never took the steps necessary to become a big well financed organization. I always wanted to have the final say on Zionist ideology. This kept me from becoming dependent on big foundations and individuals that could make me moderate my positions on Israel. Fortunately there are some wonderful people that have kept me going all these years. Those people have the heart and soul of true Zionists. While executives in major Jewish organizations in this country earn $250-500,000 a year, it was my choice to work for very little and now nothing.
Politicians in Israel are so corrupt that it nauseates me. In my case, you could offer me a $1 million dollars to change my views and broadcasts to accept surrender of our Holy Land. I would not take it.
This brings me to an important subject. Every year costs go up. Time is taking a toll of my older supporters who remember the Holocaust, Israel's Independence and the dreadful days before the Six Days War. The number of readers of the Freemanlist keeps growing and many of you send it to your friends (one reader up to 150 people on his list). I am very happy about that. The message of Jewish and Israeli survival and security in an apocalyptic era is of extreme importance to me.
But I need to be practical and pay our growing bills like: telecommunication, rent, webmaster, utilities, cyberspace, band width, security (which I have had to triple recently), computer repairs and much more. About 1% of our readers make a tax deductible contribution to the Freeman Center. I am appealing to you to do the mitzvah of supporting our important educational work. And, of course, if you do it in 2007 it can be used as a tax deduction on your 2007 income tax.
With Love of Israel and Faith in Hashem,
Bernard J. Shapiro, Chairman and Editor of Publications
Freeman Center For Strategic Studies