NEW YORK – Three hundred and fifty Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) activists from 22 states took part in the ZOAs Annual Activist Mission to Washington this week, meeting with Members of Congress and Bush administration officials to express opposition to the Road Map plan for creating a Palestinian Arab state, which would be a terrorist state.
During their two days in Washington, the ZOA members met with 140 Members of Congress or their senior staff members.
The mission began with a gala dinner on Capitol Hill, featuring Dr. David Wurmser of the State Department, who discussed the international war against terrorism. Steve Emerson, the award- winning investigative journalist, spoke about the continuing threat from terrorist cells situated in the United States. ZOA national president Morton A. Klein spoke, describing the Road Map as a disaster and characterizing Palestinian Authority prime minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as a Holocaust denier and co-founder of a major terrorist movement the only difference between Mazen and Yasir Arafat is that Mazen shaves and wears a suit.
The next day, the mission participants attended a Capitol Hill luncheon featuring remarks by 18 Members of Congress, who spoke about the need for the U.S. to insist that the Palestinian Authority stop all terrorism, arrest terrorists, disarm and outlaw terrorist groups, and halt all anti-Israel incitement. They said that the central flaw of the Oslo accords was the failure to insist on PA compliance. They emphasized that the Road Map plan should not go ahead, and Israel should not be expected to make any more concessions, unless the PA fulfills all its obligations.
Among those addressing the ZOA event was U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Deputy House Majority Whip, who said: The ZOA has always been a moral compass on Capitol Hill for U.S.-Israel relations. Also addressing the event was U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), chair of the Mideast Subcommittee of the House International Affairs Committee, who condemned Abu Mazen as a Holocaust denier, and added: The Palestinians must commit to ending terrorism and arresting and holding the terrorists, not releasing them soon afterwards. The terrorists weapons must be confiscated and their infrastructure destroyed. Half measures will not work. The onus is clearly on the Palestinians. Enough is enough. Yet this most recent spate of attacks by Palestinians against innocent Israeli civilians defies this plea for peace and clearly illustrates that the facade of cooperation being created by Abu Mazen does not meet the reality.
Later, they received a special briefings at the Israeli Embassy from Embassy spokesman Mark Regev, who discussed media bias, and Former Reagan administration official Gary Bauer, president of American Values, spoke about the dangers of the Road Map and the holiness of the Land of Israel.
David Wilder, spokesman for the Hebron Jewish community, who described the plight of the Jewish residents of Hebron and the rest of Judea-Samaria in the face of ongoing Palestinian Arab terrorism. He described how bullets fired by Palestinian Arab terrorists have struck his own home, missing his children by inches, and he held up a book from his bookshelf that had a bullet hole through it.
In their meetings with Members of Congress and Bush administration officials, the ZOA activists emphasized:
* Their opposition to the Road Map and the dangers of creating a Palestinian Arab state, which would be a terrorist state threatening Israel. A recent poll found that by 71%-13%, Americans oppose creating a Palestinian Arab state. Such a terrorist regime would destabilize the region and undermine Americas interests, especially in the midst of Americas war against terrorism. It would constitute a reward for Palestinian Arab terrorism and send a message to terrorists that their violence will result in concessions.
* The need for Congress to press the Bush administration to insist that the PA fulfill all of the obligations that President Bush spelled out in his June 24, 2002 Mideast speech and the Road Map.
* The importance of the Koby Mandell Act, which would create a special office within the Justice Department to pursue Palestinian Arab killers of Americans and assist their victims. A recent poll found 73% of Americans believe the U.S. should insist that the PA turn over all Palestinian Arabs accused of killing or injuring American citizens.
Since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, 41 American citizens have been murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists, who are being sheltered by the PA. Although both the Israeli and American governments have identified many of the suspects by name, not one of them has been indicted by the U.S.
* The Syrian Accountability Act, which offers the president a menu of sanctions from which to choose, unless Syria withdraws its 35,000 troops from Lebanon, stops developing biological and chemical weapons, and stops harboring terrorist offices and bases in Syria and in Syrian-occupied Lebanon.
* The double standard by which the Bush administration is demanding freezing of Jewish construction in Judea-Samaria while never calling for freezing of the much more widespread Arab construction in those territories. A recent poll found that by 61%-13%, Americans say that Jews should be allowed to continue building in Judea-Samaria.