NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly condemns the U.S. Presbyterian Church leaders who this week held friendly meetings with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and a Hezbollah terrorist leader in Syrian-occupied Lebanon.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein: “This is the height of hypocrisy: these Presbyterian officials hold friendly meetings with a brutal dictator and a terrorist whose organization has murdered hundreds of Americans, and instead of condemning the dictator or the terrorist, they condemn and threaten Israel, the only country in the region that is a democracy and respects human rights.”
According to the Associated Press (Oct. 19, 2004), the 24-member Presbyterian delegation, headed by the Rev. Nile Harper, “met with the South Lebanon commander of Hezbollah” on Monday. Hezbollah, which is on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, is responsible for the 1983 massacre of 241 Marines in Lebanon, among many other atrocities. The next day, the Presbyterian delegation met with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, in Damascus. The Assad regime illegally occupies Lebanon, wantonly violates the human rights of the Syrian and Lebanese population, sponsors terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and is developing weapons of mass destruction.
Yet instead of criticizing Hezbollah or Syria, the Presbyterian leaders condemned Israel, and reiterated their threat to urge U.S. corporations to end their business dealings with Israel. Rev. Harper also said: “The occupation by Israel in the West Bank and Gaza must end because it is oppressive and destructive for the Palestinian people.” In fact, there is no “occupation”; since 1995, 98.5% of the Palestinian Arabs in Judea-Samaria-Gaza have been living under the rule of the Palestinian Authority.