62 Jewish & Christian Leaders Urge Bush: Suspend All U.S. Relations With Arafat & P.A.
January 25, 2002

NEW YORK – Sixty-two prominent American Jewish and Christian leaders have signed a public statement urging President Bush to respond to Yasir Arafat’s “ship of terror” —his attempt to smuggle more than 50 tons of weapons to wage war against Israel— and the almost daily murders of innocent Israelis, by suspending all U.S. relations with Arafat and his Palestinian Authority (PA) regime.

The statement was organized by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). It will appear as a full-page advertisement in the days to come in the New York Times, the national Weekly Standard, Jewish newspapers in major cities across the United States, and leading Israeli newspapers.

The signatories include present or past leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; the Zionist Organization of America; the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN); the National Religious Broadcasters; leaders of worldwide TV and radio Christian ministries; the National Religious Roundtable; AIPAC; B’nai B’rith; the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; the United Jewish Appeal (UJA); the Jewish National Fund; the president of Yeshiva University; the Jewish War Veterans; the Simon Wiesenthal Center; the Rabbinical Assembly; the Rabbinical Council of America, and the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors; former Members of Congress; a former candidate for the Republican presidential nomination; and other distinguished individuals.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “A broad array of Jewish and Christian leaders are sending a strong message to President Bush that it is a serious mistake for the U.S. to continue to give legitimacy, political support, and financial assistance to Arafat’s terrorist regime. Arafat is nothing but a thug and a killer, and his regime is simply a mini-Iraq, whose goal is terror and the destruction of Israel, not to make a better life for his people. If, God forbid, the world were to permit the PA to evolve into a sovereign terrorist state, it would be the first time in history that a state was established not for the benefit of its people but in order to bring about the destruction of another people. President Bush has pledged to end terrorist states, not create new ones—and to fight all terrorists around the world, not just a select few. Eight years of appeasing Arafat is enough.”

The text of the ad reads:

We urge the Bush administration to respond to Arafat’s “Ship of Terror” by suspending all U.S. relations with Arafat

In early January 2002, Yasir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority (PA) sponsored a “ship of terror,” which tried to bring more than 50 tons of weapons to PA-controlled territory to be used to murder Israelis. It was the latest of numerous such “ships of terror” and other weapons-smuggling efforts by the PA.

The U.S. State Department has publicly acknowledged that Israel’s evidence that the PA sponsored the ship is “compelling” and “extensive.” A Congressional delegation canceled its meeting with Arafat after receiving an American intelligence briefing that showed “100 percent certainty” that Arafat and the PA sponsored the ship.


President Bush deserves praise for clearly stating that the United States will have “zero tolerance” for terrorism and sponsors of terrorism, and that the U.S. will not make any distinction between “good” terrorists and “bad” terrorists. In keeping with this U.S. position, there must be a firm and unequivocal response to Arafat’s “ship of terror.” Anything less will send a message to Arafat and the PA that they can continue to wage war against Israel without feeling any consequences.


In December 2001, Congress overwhelmingly adopted a resolution urging President Bush to suspend “all relations with Yasir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority” unless the PA “destroys the infrastructure of Palestinian terrorist groups,” “pursues and arrests terrorists whose incarceration has been called for by Israel,” and “takes all necessary steps to end the ongoing Palestinian terrorist campaign.”


Instead of taking such steps, the PA continues to harbor terrorists (including killers of dozens of American citizens); refuses to confiscate the tens of thousands of weapons in the hands of the terrorists; and promotes hatred and violence against Israelis in the official PA media, schools, children’s camps, and speeches by PA officials and PA-appointed clergymen. The PA’s own police and security forces have carried out numerous terrorist attacks. And the terror against Israelis continues on a daily basis.

Now that the anti-terror steps stipulated by Congress -and by the Oslo accords- have not been carried out, despite Arafat’s repeated promises to do so, we urge the Bush administration to suspend all relations with Yasir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, just as the U.S. has done with regard to other terror-sponsoring regimes around the world. This will demonstrate to Arafat, and to all terror-sponsors, that there will be real consequences for their actions.

The list of signatories:

Morton A. Klein, National President, Zionist Organization of America … Irwin Hochberg, Past Chairman, UJA-Federation of New York & Member, National Commission, Anti-Defamation League … Neal Sher, Esq. Past National Executive Director, AIPAC … Dr. Munr Kazmir, Member of the Board, American Jewish Congress & Member, Executive Committee, Republican Jewish Coalition … Dr. John C. Hagee, Worldwide TV Ministry & Pastor, Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, TX … Rabbi Hershel Billet, President, & Rabbi Steven Dworken, Executive Vice President, Rabbinical Council of America … Dr. David Hocking, President, Hope for Today Ministries … Stephen M. Flatow, Esq., Chair, Alisa Flatow Memorial Fund … Dr. Alex Grobman, Past Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center … Robert Zweiman, National Commander, Jewish War Veterans of USA … Gary Erlbaum, Esq., Member, Executive Committee, Jewish Federation of Philadelphia … J. Philip Rosen, Esq., Vice Chairman of the Board, Yeshiva College … Shoshana Cardin, Past Chair, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations … Richard D. Heideman, President & Daniel Mariaschin, Executive Vice President, B’nai B’rith … Rev. Dr. Franklin Littell, Founding Board Member, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum & Past Chair, Department of Religion, Temple University … Hon. Jon Fox, Former Member of Congress (R-PA) & Former Board Member, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum … Nathan Lewin, Esq., Hon. President, American Section, International Association of Jewish Lawyers & Jurists … Janet Parshall, Nationally Syndicated Talk Show Host … Sylvia Freyer, Associate Chairman of the Board, Zionist Organization of America … Richard A. Hellman, President, Christians’ Israel Public Action Campaign … Rabbi Simcha Krauss, President & Dr. Mandell Ganchrow, Executive Vice Chairman, Religious Zionists of America … Gerald Charnoff, Esq., Officer of many national Jewish organizations … Thomas (Ed) Steele, President, Promise Publishing … Jack Friedler, President, Friends of Jerusalem … Leon Levy, Past Chair, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations … Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, President, Yeshiva University … Morris Amitay, Esq., Past National Executive Director, AIPAC … Rabbi Joseph P. Sternstein, Past President, Jewish National Fund … Shlomo Z. Mostofsky, Esq.,President … Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Director, National Council of Young Israel … Dr. Michael Goldblatt, Chair, National Executive Committee, Zionist Organization of America … Dr. Michael Franzblau, Life National Commissioner, Anti-Defamation League … Dr. Julio Messer, President, American Friends of Likud … Sara C. Ballenger, President, Capitol Hill Prayer Partners … Larry J. Hochberg, Officer of many national Jewish organizations … Rosalie Reich, Past President, Emunah of America … Gary Bauer, President, American Values … Dr. Walter Reich, Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Professor of International Affairs & Ethics, George Washington University & Past Executive Director, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum … Rabbi Seymour Essrog, Past President, Rabbinical Assembly … Shimon Erem, Member, Executive Committee, AIPAC … Rabbi Dr. Haskel Lookstein, Principal, RAMAZ & Rabbi, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun … Ben Armstrong, Past President, National Religious Broadcasters … Rose Mattus, Co-founder, Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream & Member of the Board, Zionist Organization of America; Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President, Center for Security Policy … Malvina Halberstam, Professor of International Law, Cardozo Law School … Theodore Beckett, President, Foundation for Israel … Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, Past President, Rabbinical Council of America … Marlin Maddoux, Host, “Point of View” Talk Show, USA Television Network … Rabbi Herschel Schachter, Past Chair, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Michael D. Little, President and CEO, Christian Broadcasting Network … Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler, Professor of Medical Ethics and Talmudic Law, Yeshiva University … Hon. Matt Salmon, Former Member of Congress (R-AZ) … Dr. Alan Mazurek, Chairman of the Board, Zionist Organization of America … Henry Schwartz, National Vice President, Zionist Organization of America … Herb Swarzman, Chairman, Florida-Israel Institute … Ed McAteer, President, National Religious Roundtable … Vicki Erlbaum, Member, Board of Trustees, Jewish Federation of Philadelphia … James Rapp, Founding Secretary, American Gathering of Holocuast Survivors … Stanley Rosenberg, Esq., Member of the Board, Orthodox Union.

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