U.S. Official Admits He Pressured Israel To Refrain From Striking At Terrorists
January 26, 2004

NEW YORK- A senior Bush administration envoy to the Middle East has publicly admitted that the Palestinian Authority has taken no action against terrorists—even though he himself pressured Israel to refrain from striking at terrorists last summer on the grounds that the PA was prepared to act.

In the wake of this development, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging the Bush administration to recognize that the Road Map plan for creation of a Palestinian Arab state will never bring peace, because the Palestinian Arabs are devoted to terrorism and Israel’s destruction. The ZOA is also urging President Bush to cancel his reported plan to send the envoy, Assistant Secretary of State John Wolf, to negotiate with Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the near future.

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (Jan. 22, 2004), Assistant Secretary of State John Wolf, the administration’s top envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, said at a Princeton University-sponsored forum in Washington this week “that he persuaded Israel to allow the Palestinians some time to crack down on terrorists after an Aug. 19 suicide attack on a Jerusalem bus that killed more than 20 Israelis. ‘I have to say on the Palestinian side, it was all talk and no action,’ the assistant secretary of state told the forum.” Yet in an unfair attempt to be “even-handed,” Wolf also complained that “Israel also did not do enough to sustain President Bush’s peace efforts last summer” —presumably meaning that Israel should have made more concessions to the PA even though the PA was trying to destroy Israel.

Last year, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported (August 7, 2003) that some Israeli officials say the U.S. monitoring chief, John Wolf, has “a tendency to lean toward the Palestinians.” Ha’aretz also reported that Wolf’s “work plan” for monitoring Israeli compliance with the Road Map includes a section in which Israel’s behavior is being judged in part on “refraining from actions which ‘harm trust,’ such as … releasing Palestinian prisoners” —even though there is no requirement whatsoever in the Road Map that Israel release imprisoned Palestinian Arabs.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “John Wolf’s pressure on Israel to refrain from striking terrorists and to release imprisoned terrorists directly contradicts the Bush administration’s declared policy of pursuing and fighting terrorists around the world. Ambassador Wolf is not the right person for the Bush administration to again send to negotiate with Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The administration should send someone who will pressure the terrorist PA, not America’s ally, Israel.”

The ZOA president noted that Wolf was previously withdrawn from the Mideast as a U.S. protest against the PA’s refusal to arrest the terrorists who murdered three U.S. security personnel in Gaza last year. “The PA has still not arrested the murderers of these three Americans, so to send Wolf back now is to send a message to the PA that the U.S. is no longer seriously interested in capturing and punishing the murderers,” Klein said.

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