NEW YORK- In response to reports that Israel is refraining from serious action against the Syrian-sponsored Hezbollah terrorists because it fears being blamed for escalation, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has assured Israeli officials that, in fact, there would be strong support among Americans for Israeli action against the terrorists.
The Jerusalem Post reports (Aug. 11, 2003) that despite last weekends Hezbollah missile attack in which an Israeli child was murdered and four others wounded, Israel is not taking any large-scale military action against the terrorists because, in the words of a senior Israeli official, if Israel takes quick action, we will be the ones blamed for escalating the situation.
In a telegram to Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, chairman of the board Dr. Alan Mazurek, and chairman of the National Executive Committee Dr. Michael Goldblatt wrote:
From our extensive efforts on Capitol Hill and our educational campaigns around the country, we know that both Members of Congress and the overwhelming majority of the American public will strongly sympathize with Israels need to take swift and uncompromising military action against the Hezbollah terrorists. Americans understand that fighting Hezbollah is part and parcel of Americas fight against world terrorism. Hezbollah is on the official U.S. list of terrorist groups because it has murdered hundreds of innocent Americans and Israelis, including the 241 U.S. Marines it slaughtered in Lebanon in 1983. The Bush administration would be in no position to criticize Israel for pursuing Hezbollah in Lebanon just as the U.S. has been pursuing Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere. Moreover, the issue of Hezbollah is not part of the Bush Road Map plan and there are no restrictions on Israeli actions in that regard.
ZOA president Klein is now in Israel, conveying this message in meetings with Knesset Members and government officials.