70 Congressmen Sign ZOA-Initiated Letter To Bush: “Don’t Discuss Further Israeli Concessions”
November 5, 2003

Urge Bush: Demand
PA to Fight Terror

NEW YORK- Seventy members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed a letter, initiated by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), urging President Bush to stop “discussing further concessions from Israel” and instead insist that the Palestinian Authority take “concrete, decisive action” against terrorists.

The letter was sponsored by U.S. Representatives Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) and Dennis Cardoza (D-California), and was signed by a total of 49 Republicans and 21 Democrats.

The other signatories include Deputy House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA); the Ranking Democratic Member of the House International Relations Committee, Tom Lantos (D-CA); and eleven additional members of the House International Relations Committee—Dan Burton (R-IN), Thomas Tancredo (R-CO), William Janklow (R-SD), Robert Wexler (D-FL), Mike Pence (R-IN), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Shelly Berkley (D-NV), Joseph Pitts (R-PA), Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Joseph Crowley (R-NY), and Chris Bell (D-TX).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein and Ben Lerner of the ZOA’s Capitol Hill office said: “These 70 Congressmembers deserve the highest praise for insisting on the vital principle that fighting Palestinian Arab terror is an inseparable part of America’s own war on terror. They have sent a clear message to the Bush administration that pressure on Israel for more concessions is wrong, that Palestinian Arab terror should not be rewarded with statehood, and that the Palestinian Authority must be held strictly accountable for its terrorism, incitement, and other violations of the Oslo Accords and Bush Road Map.”

Highlights of the letter:

* DON’T PRESSURE ISRAEL FOR CONCESSIONS: “We hope that irrespective of who assumes leadership of the Palestinian Authority, you will, rather than discuss further concessions from Israel, instead continue to insist that the Palestinian Authority abdicate incitement and act forcefully against terrorism.”

* FIGHTING PA TERROR IS PART OF AMERICA’S WAR ON TERROR: Insisting on an end to Palestinian Arab terrorism “will not only help ensure the security of our democratic ally Israel, but will also help ensure that the War on Terror maintains its clarity and credibility throughout the world.”

* QUREI NOT FIGHTING TERROR: “Ahmed Qurei, who has been hand-picked by Arafat [to replace Abbas] has indicated in recent statements that he also has no intention of confronting terrorist organizations and that he, too, intends to broker yet another clearly artificial “cease-fire” arrangement that would leave the terror networks untouched.”

* ISRAEL WANTS PEACE, ARABS MAKE WAR: “Israel has repeatedly sought genuine peace with the Palestinians, only to be answered with unmitigated terrorism and unending incitement.”

* THE PA TOLERATES AND SUPPORTS TERROR: Palestinian Arab terrorism against Israel has been “tolerated by or overtly supported by the Palestinian Authority.”

* ISOLATING ARAFAT ISN’T ENOUGH: “While the isolation of Arafat is a necessary step…it is not by itself sufficient. Any Palestinian leader that emerges to replace Arafat must be held to the same fundamental standards with respect to terrorism and incitement and must prove himself to be a substantive improvement over Arafat, rather than a mere cosmetic adjustment.”

* ABBAS DIDN’T FIGHT TERROR: “Former Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, in spite of the hope that many of us had placed in him, ultimately failed to meaningfully confront terrorism or end incitement, and refused to even acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.”

* NO STATEHOOD IF TERROR CONTINUES: “It is imperative to convey to any current or future leader of the Palestinian Authority that it is unacceptable to allow, encourage, or engage in terrorism and incitement against Israel, and that such behavior will not produce statehood or any other political gains.”

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