U.S. Has Seized Terrorists
Funds in American Banks
NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed its strong disappointment that the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is pressuring the Israel to refrain from taking action against bank accounts held by Palestinian Arab terrorists in eastern Jerusalem.
The U.S. Embassys action is especially surprising in view of the fact that the Bush administration, as part of its ongoing war against terrorism, has repeatedly taken action against bank accounts held by terrorists in the United States.
The Israeli daily Haaretz reported (February 27, 2003) that the Israeli authorities visited a branch of the Arab Bank, in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Al-Azriya, and took possession of documents detailing transactions conducted in accounts connected to the Palestinian Arab terrorist group Hamas, which has murdered hundreds of Israelis and Americans in recent years. Following the raid, the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv demanded that Israel halt such operations in banks, arguing that they might breach international bank treaties signed by Israel, Haaretz reported.
In a telegram to the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, chairman of the Board Dr. Alan Mazurek and National Executive Committee chairman Dr. Michael Goldblatt wrote: Israel has a right to take action against terrorists bank accounts, just as the United States has been taking action against terrorists bank accounts in America. The fact that the terrorists against whom Israel is acting have murdered many Americans as well as Israelis should make it even more comprehensible to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv why Israels action against terrorist funds is right and necessary. For the U.S. Embassy to pressure Israel to leave the terrorists funding network in place is to send a message to the terrorists that the U.S. will prevent Israel from using all means to fight terrorism. That is a wrong and dangerous message to send, especially in the midst of a worldwide fight against terrorism.