ZOA Is Appalled By Powell Expressing “Regret” Over Israeli Strike On Terrorist Leader
News
June 23, 2003


30 Americans Murdered by
Hamas Since 1993

NEW YORK- Secretary of State Powell has declared his “regret” that Israel eliminated another Hamas terrorist leader, prompting the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) to declare its regret that Powell is continuing his policy of trying to protect Hamas leaders from Israel, even though Hamas has murdered 30 Americans and hundreds of Israelis since 1993 and is on the official U.S. list of terrorist groups.


Israeli forces on June 20 took action in Hebron to eliminate mass-murderer Abdullah Qawasmeh, who was responsible for numerous atrocities against Jews, including the recent Jerusalem bus bombing in which 17 Israelis were massacred.


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “Secretary Powell would not express his “regret”; if U.S. forces succeeded in their ongoing attempts to eliminate Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden; likewise he should feel no regret when Hamas leaders are eliminated. Everyone who is sincerely committed to the war against terrorism should rejoice any time action is taken against terrorist leaders.”


Powell said (Associated Press, June 22, 2003): “I regret we had an incident that could be an impediment to progress. It is a matter of concern.” He added: “I regret that we continue to find ourselves trapped in this action and counteraction, provocation and reaction to provocation.”


ZOA president Klein commented: It is shocking and appalling that Secretary Powell is suggesting a moral equivalency between Arab terrorism and Israeli self-defense. Does he describe America’s fight with Al Qaeda as a case of ‘action and counteraction’, or does he describe it as Al Qaeda terrorism and American self-defense? Powell’s remarks send a message that America is not serious about eliminating all terrorist groups and their leaders.”


Powell’s statement follows President Bush’s recent statement that he was “deeply troubled” by Israel’s attempt to eliminate Hamas leader and mass-murderer Abdul-Aziz Rantisi, and that the Israeli action “does not contribute to the security of Israel.”


The ZOA notes that Secretary Powell’s condemnation of Israel is the latest in a series of actions by the Bush administration that involve criticizing and pressuring Israel, including:


* Pressuring Israel to withdraw its forces from areas of Judea-Samaria where they are pursuing terrorists.


* Pressuring Israel to loosen its checkpoints and closures, even though that would make it easier for Palestinian Arab terrorists to attack Israel.


* Pressuring Israel to release imprisoned Palestinian Arab terrorists.


* Pressuring Israel to restrict and eventually dismantle Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria-Gaza, even though the Bush administration has never called for action against the much more widespread, and illegal, Arab construction in those territories.


* Pressuring Israel to accept the creation of a Palestinian Arab state, even though President Bush vowed to put an end to terrorist states.


* Publicly condemning Israel for trying to eliminate terrorist leaders exactly as the U.S. has been eliminating terrorist leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq.




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