ZOA Strongly Criticizes Bush’s Remark Blaming Israel For “Causing Escalation Of Violence”
March 8, 2002

NEW YORK – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly criticized President Bush’s statement wrongly blaming Israel for “causing violence to escalate.”

President Bush said on March 7, 2002, that Israel is “allowing violence to escalate or causing violence to escalate.” (New York Times, March 8, 2002) It comes on the heels of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s outrageous slur that Israel’s policy is to “see how many Palestinians can be killed.” (New York Times, March 7, 2002)

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “President Bush has it completely backwards. If Arafat’s forces weren’t murdering Jews on a daily basis, Israel would not be using any military action. Israel is neither allowing violence to escalate nor causing it to do so. Israel is fighting back in self-defense against a terrorist war that Yasir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority have launched against it.”

The ZOA president said “it is incredible that the Bush administration is telling a sovereign ally under daily terrorist attacks to reduce its efforts to protect the lives of its citizens.” He noted that Israel’s actions against Palestinian Arab terrorists are a fraction of what the U.S. is doing to combat terrorists in Afghanistan. He pointed out that “if anything, Israel has been acting with a level of restraint that defies military logic, by frequently bombing empty buildings, parking lots, or runways, rather than striking more important targets that might result in casualties. Israel is undermining its own defense by doing whatever it can to avoid killing Palestinian Arabs, while the Palestinian Arabs are doing everything they can to murder as many innocent Jews as possible.

“We urge President Bush and Secretary of State Powell to recognize this simple fact and acknowledge Israel’s right to use whatever force is necessary to defeat terrorists in Gaza and Ramallah, just as America is using whatever force is necessary to defeat terrorists in Afghanistan.”

Center for Law & Justice
We work to educate the American public and Congress about legal issues in order to advance the interests of Israel and the Jewish people.
We assist American victims of terrorism in vindicating their rights under the law, and seek to hold terrorists and sponsors of terrorism accountable for their actions.
We fight anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses.
We strive to enforce existing law and also to create new law in order to safeguard the rights of the Jewish people in the United States and Israel.