Posted by: Morton A. Klein
March 20, 2002

At D.C. Press Conference On Thursday, Members Of Congress Will Speak Out Against Pressure On Israel

Let Israel Defend Itself

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Prominent Members of Congress, and Jewish and Christian leaders will hold an emergency press conference on Thursday in Washington to speak out against pressure on Israel and affirm that America and Israel are facing a common enemy in the fight against terrorism.

The press conference is being sponsored by U.S. Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), a member of the House International Relations Committee, and is being organized by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).

The press conference will be held in the area known as the “Senate Swamp” (in the grassy area across from the Capitol Building, facing south) on Thursday, March 21, 2002, at 1:00 p.m.

* The speakers at the press conference will express their support for the right of Israel to take strong military action against terrorists, just as the U.S. is taking military strong action against terrorists in Afghanistan; and that it is the primary responsibility of every nation to defend the lives of its citizens, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.

* The speakers will oppose the growing pressure on Israel to make one-sided concessions to Yasir Arafat, and they will urge that Arafat’s Fatah and Force 17 groups be added to the official U.S. list of terrorist organizations.

* Speakers at the press conference will also be discussing recent legislative initiatives, including H. Con. Res. 222 (sponsored by U.S. Representatives. Eliot Engel [D-NY] and Jim Saxton [R-NJ]), which affirms Israel’s right to active self-defense; H.R. 3743, the No More Terror in New York Act (sponsored by U.S. Representatives Eliot Engel [D-NY] and Jim Saxton [R-NJ]), which would restrict the travel of PLO and PA personnel in the New York City area; H.R. 3624, the Peace With Security Act (sponsored by U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor [R-VA], which would make U.S. aid to the Palestinian Arabs conditional on full Palestinian Authority compliance with the Oslo accords; and the Koby Mandell Act (S.1377 / H.R. 2098, sponsored by U.S. Senator Gordon Smith [R-OR] and U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews [D-NJ]), which would establish a special office in the Department of Justice to pursue Palestinian Arab terrorists who have murdered or injured hundreds of American citizens.