By House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, May 2, 2002 - U.S. House of Representatives
Mr. Speaker, the principles and virtues that all of us revere and respect about America are under assault in the Middle East. The people of Israel are resisting a wave of terrorism. And as we watch the violence directed against them, we are roused to resolve that TERRORISM IN ALL ITS FORMS MUST BE DEFEATED.
There is NO MORAL EQUIVALENCE between a democratic government defending its citizens and a calculated strategy of death waged by terrorist organizations. Homicide bombings are evil incarnate. On the scales of justice and morality, they are NO DIFFERENCE FROM THE ATTACKS LAUNCHED AGAINST THE U.S. LAST SEPTEMBER. They serve only to satisfy the gruesome appetites of pure hatred and unrestrained wickedness. And they demonstrate beyond question that the abiding threat to peace in the Middle East stems from the groups which exist for the SINGLE PURPOSE OF DESTROYING ISRAEL.
The citizens of free nations SHARE A SPECIAL BOND. It flows from our common commitment to a set of enduring principles. We trust democracy. We defend human rights. We live under the rule of law. And we seek good relations with every country wishing to coexist peacefully with others. Israel is the lone bastion of freedom in the region. Within Israel's neighbors, peaceful transitions are an accident of fate. DESCRIBING THESE COUNTRIES AS GENUINE DEMOCRACIES WOULD BE AS INACCURATE AS CALLING AN ACORN AN OAK TREE.
It is time for every country in the Middle East to pass a fundamental test of the civilized world by unequivocally rejecting terrorism and acknowledging that bombings and other acts of terror render any underlying cause or grievance inherently illegitimate. It's the test President Bush laid down in this chamber when he said: "You are with us or with the terrorists."
THE MEN AND WOMEN OF ISRAEL MUST KNOW THAT WE RECOGNIZE THE BROADER SIGNIFICANCE OF THEIR STRUGGLE. The attacks directed against them are attacks against liberty and all free people must recognize that ISRAEL'S FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT. Let every terrorist know, the American people will never abandon freedom, democracy, or Israel. AMERICA WILL NEVER PERMIT THE JEWISH STATE TO FALL TO AGGRESSION.
The search for peace cannot diminish and must not obscure a key lesson of the past forty years: DEMOCRACIES MUST NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS. For that reason, Yasser Arafat strikes many of us as a highly unreliable vessel to carry the hope for peace. The most promising sign for both the people of Israel and the Palestinian people would be the emergence of moderate Palestinian leaders who truly seek a negotiated settlement for a lasting peace. Today, the Palestinian men and women who wish nothing more than to raise their families in peace have no voice. Nothing will do more to bring peace to the region than the emergence of a Palestinian leader with the courage to accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State and a willingness to acknowledge Israel's legitimate security considerations. But until that day comes, EVERY MAN AND WOMEN IN ISRAEL SHOULD KNOW THAT THEY DO NOT STAND ALONE, BECAUSE AMERICA IS WITH THEM.
107th CONGRESS -- IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
APRIL 18, 2002
Mr. DELAY (for himself, Mr. LANTOS, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. GILMAN, Mr. FROST, Mr. BLUNT, Mr. CROWLEY, Mr. REYNOLDS, Mrs. LOWEY, Mr. CANTOR, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. BERMAN, Mr. WEXLER, Mr. ENGEL, Mr. CARDIN, Ms. BERKLEY, Mr. SCHIFF, Mr. DEUTSCH, Mr. NADLER, and Ms. SCHAKOWSKY) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations
RESOLUTION Expressing solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism.
Whereas the United States and Israel are now engaged in a common struggle against terrorism and are on the front-lines of a conflict thrust upon them against their will;
Whereas hundreds of innocent Israelis and Palestinians have died tragically in violence since September 2000;
Whereas Palestinian organizations are engaging in an organized, systematic, and deliberate campaign of terror aimed at inflicting as many casualties as possible on the Israeli population, including through the use of suicide terrorist attacks;
Whereas the number of Israelis killed during that time by suicide terrorist attacks alone, on a basis proportional to the United States population, is approximately 9,000, three times the number killed in the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001;
Whereas Yasir Arafat and members of the Palestinian leadership have failed to abide by their commitments to nonviolence made in the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles (the "Oslo accord") of September 1993, including their pledges (1) to adhere strictly to "a peaceful resolution of the conflict," (2) to resolve "all outstanding issues relating to permanent status through negotiations," (3) to renounce "the use of terrorism and other acts of violence," and (4) to "assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance [with the commitment to nonviolence], prevent violence, and discipline violators";
Whereas the continued terrorism and incitement committed, supported, and coordinated by official arms of the Palestinian Authority are a direct violation of these commitments;
Whereas forces directly under Yasir Arafat's control--particularly, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which is part of Arafat's Fatah organization and has been designated a "Foreign Terrorist Organization" by the United States government--have murdered scores of innocent Israelis;
Whereas Yasir Arafat was directly involved in the Palestinian Authority's thwarted attempt to obtain 50 tons of offensive weapons shipped from Iran in the Karine-A, an effort that irrefutably proved Arafat's embrace of the use and escalation of violence;
Whereas documents seized by Israel from offices of the Palestinian Authority demonstrate the crucial financial support the Palestinian Authority continues to provide for terrorist acts, including suicide bombers;
Whereas the recent escalation of Palestinian attacks, killing 46 Israelis during the week of Passover, included a heinous suicide-bombing at a religious ceremony which killed 27 and wounded more than a hundred, many critically, and was perpetrated by a known terrorist whom Israel had previously asked Yasir Arafat to arrest;
Whereas this suicide attack occurred at the very time United States envoy General Anthony Zinni was attempting to negotiate a cease-fire that would lead to the resumption of Israeli-Palestinians political negotiations;
Whereas, just before the Passover attack, Israel had agreed to General Zinni's cease-fire proposals, whereas Yasir Arafat rejected them;
Whereas Yasir Arafat continues to incite terror by, for example, saying of the Passover suicide bomber, "Oh God, give me a martyrdom like this";
Whereas Yasir Arafat and the PLO have a long history of making and breaking anti-terrorism pledges;
Whereas President George W. Bush declared at a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, that "[f]rom this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime";
Whereas President Bush recently stated that he "fully understands Israel's need to defend herself" and that he "respect(s)" the fact that Israelis have "seen a wave of suicide bombers coming to the heart of their cities and killing innocent people";
Whereas President Bush, in his speech of April 4, 2002, stated that "the situation in which he [Arafat] finds himself today is largely of his own making"; that Arafat "missed his opportunities, and thereby betrayed the hopes of the people he's supposed to lead"; and that, "[g]iven his [Arafat's] failure, the Israeli government feels it must strike at terrorist networks that are killing its citizens";
Whereas Israel's military operations are an effort to defend itself against the unspeakable horrors of ongoing terrorism and are aimed only at dismantling the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas, an obligation Arafat himself undertook but failed to carry out; and
Whereas Israel has made clear its intention to withdraw from Palestinian areas and has already begun to do so: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives --
(1) stands in solidarity with Israel as it takes necessary steps to provide security to its people by dismantling the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas;
(2) remains committed to Israel's right to self-defense and supports additional United States assistance to help Israel defend itself;
(3) condemns the recent wave of Palestinian suicide bombings;
(4) condemns the ongoing support and coordination of terror by Yasir Arafat and other members of the Palestinian leadership;
(5) demands that the Palestinian Authority at last fulfill its commitment to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas, including any such infrastructure associated with PLO and Palestinian Authority entities tied directly to Yasir Arafat;
(6) is gravely concerned that Arafat's actions are not those of a viable partner for peace;
(7) urges all Arab states to declare their unqualified opposition to all forms of terrorism, particularly suicide bombing;
(8) commends the President for his leadership in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, particularly the efforts of the Administration to engage countries throughout the region to condemn and prevent terrorism and to prevent a widening of the conflict; and
(9) urges all parties in the region to pursue vigorously efforts to establish a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.