NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is deeply disappointed by Secretary of State Colin Powell’s pressure on Israel to end its counter-terror actions in Gaza “quickly,” rather than after they have eliminated the terrorists.
Israeli forces entered Palestinian Authority-ruled areas of Gaza on September 30 in pursuit of the terrorists who have been firing rockets into Israeli neighborhoods, including the rocket attack that murdered two Israeli children, ages two and four. Yet State Department officials have been warning Israel about the “impact of its actions” — traditional code words for urging Israel to scale back its counter-terror actions — and Secretary Powell has now declared that he wants Israel’s action to “come to a conclusion quickly.” (New York Times, Oct. 6, 2004)
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “America’s war against terrorism, in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, is based on the principle of fighting the terrorists until they are defeated, not the principle of leaving the battlefield as quickly as possible. When asked how long U.S. forces will remain in Iraq, President Bush has repeatedly said they will stay until they complete their job. Israel has every right, and obligation, to fight the terrorists until they are eliminated, regardless of how long it takes, and the United States should support that.”
Secretary Powell also said that Israel’s response to the Gaza terrorists should be “proportionate” to the casualties Israel has suffered. The ZOA points out that the U.S. response after 2,800 Americans were murdered on 9/11 was not “proportionate” — U.S. forces have killed tens of thousands of Afghanis and Iraqis. At Pearl Harbor, about 2,000 Americans were killed — America responded by going to war and ultimately killing millions of Japanese and Germans, including the use of atomic bombs that were not “proportionate” but saved many more lives by ending World War II. Countries that are attacked must use whatever force is necessary until the aggressors are completely defeated.
The ZOA points out that when it comes to U.S. military strategy, Powell himself has offered very different recommendations:
* “The ‘biggest s.o.b. on the block’ rule. America should enter fights with every bit of force available or not at all.” (Powell, quoted in Time, April 19, 2002)
* “Overwhelming U.S. force assures success at minimum risks to Americans in uniform.” (Powell, quoted in the Boston Globe, Jan. 19, 2001).”
* Powell oversaw the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama. In his autobiography, he said the operation conformed to his doctrine of “Use all the force necessary, and do not apologize for going in big, if that’s what it takes.”