New York – The Zionist Organization (ZOA) is dismayed that US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has asked Israel to give up Shaba Farms to Hezbollah (ABC News, July 28; CNN, July 27). There should be no reward whatsoever for Hezbollahs aggression against Israel and their launching of 2,000 missiles in an attempt to murder as many of it is citizens possible, said Morton A. Klein, ZOA National President. Hezbollahs agenda must go backwards, not forward. The Shaba Farms, claimed by Hezbollah to be Israeli occupied Lebanese territory, is actually Syrian territory conquered from Syria by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. The United Nations certified in 2000 that Israel had withdrawn entirely from Lebanese territory to the Israeli-Lebanese border (the Blue Line) and thus that there are no territorial issues outstanding between the two countries.
It is even more perplexing that the US would make this request when Hezbollah is on the US State Department list of terrorist organizations and has killed 241 US servicemen in the October 1983 suicide bombing in Beirut in 1983, and dozens more US servicemen at the bombing of Khobar Towers, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in June 1996. In addition, there have been other Hezbollah attacks against the US as well. The 1983 Beirut bombing represents the biggest loss of US marines in a single day since the World War Two Battle of Iwo Jima and the deadliest attack ever carried out upon Americans abroad.
Klein said, We are dismayed that Secretary Rice told Israel that it should relinquish Shaba Farms. The Bush Administration should not be even dreaming of any concessions being made by Israel to Hezbollah and giving it a victory. Not only has the UN certified that Shaba Farms are not part of Lebanon but, even if it were, we should not be making concessions to terrorists murdering Israelis. The same applies in the case of Syria, which is long-standing terrorist supporting regime listed on the US State Department terrorism list. The US should be proposing no policy that allows Syria to derive the lesson that by deploying proxies like Hezbollah to murder and maim Israelis, it can wrest concessions from Israel. Under no circumstances should the US be proposing any Israeli concessions.
If Secretary Rice made this suggestion of Israel making concessions on Shaba Farms without the approval of President Bush, then the President should publicly disavow the idea. This suggestion of Israeli concessions harms the American war on Islamist terror and actually encourages Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. We strongly urge the Bush Administration to disavow this policy before it causes Israel, the United States and the world great damage.