NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America strongly protests the statement by a senior Bush administration official that Israel has done too little for far too long to advance Middle East peace.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield made that statement (New York Times, Dec. 12, 2003) at a conference in Rome on December 11, 2003, at which the U.S. and other countries pledged to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to the terrorist Palestinian Authority regime, despite the PAs financing and ordering of suicide bombings against Israel and its long record of corrupt misuse of international donations.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:
It is the terrorist Palestinian Authority regime, not Israel, that has done too little for far too long to advance peace. The PA has never taken any of the steps required by the Oslo accords and the Bush Road Map, such as arresting terrorists, outlawing terrorist groups, confiscating their tens of thousands of weapons, shutting down their training camps, stopping payments to terrorists families, and stopping the glorification of terrorists in the PA-controlled media, schools, summer camps, and mosques.
Israel has no obligation to take any more steps or make any more concessions so long as the PA continues to refuse to fulfill its obligations. No government in the world is obliged to keep its side of an agreement if the other party refuses to do so.
Israel has made more concessions in recent years than at any time in its history, including giving away half of Judea-Samaria, releasing thousands of terrorists from prison, providing significant tax funds to the PA concessions that nobody would have dreamed of, and in return has suffered the most horrific terrorism in its history. How dare David Satterfield demand that Israel engage in more appeasement, when appeasement has only encouraged more terrorism against both Israel and America.
The ZOA notes that it is implausible to suggest that Satterfield would have made such a statement, in prepared remarks at an international conference, without the approval of the administration. Indeed, Bush officials have criticized Israel on many recent occasions, including:
November 19, 2003: In his speech in England on November 19, 2003, President Bush blamed Israel for the daily humiliation of the Palestinian people. He also called for the creation of a viable, independent Palestinian Arab state; criticized Israel for building walls and fences to protect itself from terrorism; and demanded that Israel freeze settlement construction [and] dismantle unauthorized outposts, but did not mention the much more widespread Arab illegal construction activity in the territories.
September 7, 2003: Speaking on the ABC News program This Week, Secretary Powell condemned Israeli assassinations of Hamas terrorist leaders who have murdered hundreds of Israelis and Americans. He said: To kill one Hamas leader, but wound 9 children or 10 children in the course of this, who will grow up to become Hamas leaders or Hamas killers later, they have to consider the long-term consequences of this policy.
August 26, 2003: Taking action in the wake of the Jerusalem bus massacre of 21 Israelis, Israeli forces struck at a Hamas terrorist leader who was trying to conceal himself among civilians neighborhood near Gaza City; one bystander was inadvertently killed in the attack. State Department spokesman Philip Reeker criticized the Israeli action, saying: The killing of innocents has got to stop. We have to see an end to terror and violence, which is clearly spelled out as the first major step of the Road Map. (New York Times, Aug. 27, 2003)
August 25, 2003: Speaking in San Antonio, TX, National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice pressed Israel to fulfill its responsibilities under the Bush Road Map yet did not say that the Palestinian Authority (PA) must fulfill its responsibilities.
June 22, 2003: Secretary of State Colin Powell condemned Israels elimination of mass-murderer Abdullah Qawasmeh, saying: 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. (Associated Press, June 23, 2003)
June 9, 2003: President Bush said that he is deeply troubled by Israels attempt to eliminate Hamas leader and mass-murderer Abdul-Aziz Rantisi, and that the action does not contribute to the security of Israel. (Associated Press, June 10, 2003)