ZOA Strongly Praises Defense Secretary Rumsfeld For Distancing Himself From The Term “Occupied Territory”
August 7, 2002

Rumsfeld Also Says PA Involved in Terrorism ZOA Strongly Praises Defense Secretary Rumsfeld For Distancing Himself From The Term “Occupied Territory”

NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America has strongly praised Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for publicly distancing himself from the term “occupied territory” (in reference to the Judea-Samaria-Gaza territories that Israel captured in self-defense in 1967) and for acknowledging that the Palestinian Authority is sponsoring terrorism.

In a press conference on August 6, 2002, Secretary Rumsfeld said (according the official U.S. Department of Defense transcript, available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Aug2002/t08062002_t0806townhall.html):

“My feeling about the so-called occupied territories are that there was a war, Israel urged neighboring countries not to get involved in it once it started, they all jumped in, and they lost a lost of real estate to Israel because Israel prevailed in that conflict. In the intervening period, they’ve made some settlements in various parts of the so-called occupied area, which was the result of a war, which they won.

“They have offered up — successive prime ministers have offered up various portions of that so-called occupied territory, the West Bank, and at no point has it been agreed upon by the other side. I suspect it will be, even in my lifetime, that there will be some sort of an entity that will be established. Maybe it will take some Palestinian expatriates coming back into the region and providing the kind of responsible government that would give confidence that you could make an arrangement with them that would stick. It may be that the neighboring countries, Egypt and Jordan and Saudi Arabia and others, will have to assist in providing a degree of accountability.”

Secretary Rumsfeld also said “there is no question but that the Palestinian Authority have been involved with terrorist activities.”

Secretary Rumsfeld also repeatedly refused to say that the Palestinian Arabs should be given a sovereign state; he repeatedly referred to a Palestinian Arab “entity”:

“If you have a country that’s a sliver and you can see three sides of it from a high hotel building, you’ve got to be careful what you give away and to whom you give it. If you’re giving it to an entity that has some track record, that has a degree of accountability, that has the ability to enforce security that’s promised in whatever arrangements are made, it seems to me that’s one thing. If you’re making a deal and yielding territory to an entity that cannot or will not do that — and there is no question but that the Palestinian Authority have been involved with terrorist activities, so that makes it a difficult interlocutor.”

In recent weeks, ZOA leaders have held numerous meetings with Bush administration officials and Members of Congress to urge that the U.S. use the term “disputed territory” rather than “occupied territory” when referring to Judea-Samaria-Gaza.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “Israel has the greater historical, legal, and moral right to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. At the very least, those areas should be called disputed territories, not occupied territories, since the term ‘occupied’ clearly suggests that the ‘occupier’ has no right to be there. We strongly applaud Secretary Rumsfeld’s courageous and principled stance in distancing himself from the ‘occupied territory’ fallacy.

“Furthermore, the Defense Secretary’s unequivocal statement that the Palestinian Authority itself —and not just some fringe groups or individuals — is sponsoring terrorism means that the time has come for the Bush administration to put the PA on the official U.S. list of terrorist regimes and organizations.”

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