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Jewish World Review
July 31, 2003
/ 2 Menavhem-Av, 5763
BE NOT AFRAID!
The Hon. Tom DeLay
Delivered by the House Majority Leader
to the Israeli Knesset (Parliment) on July 30, 2003
Speaker, thank you very much for your invitation and for that warm reception.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the citizens of Israel for their
generous welcome and hospitality to my wife, Christine, and me over the
last three days.
partner, Ander Crenshaw, and I look forward to bringing the lessons we've
learned here back to America and to our colleagues in Congress.
I also look forward to sharing my experiences with President Bush, whose
leadership and clarity make peace in the Middle East possible and victory
in the war on terror inevitable.
In his comments yesterday, the president reaffirmed America's support for
Israel's security and our commitment to fight "terrorism wherever it
He made clear that the prospects for peace are the responsibility of the
Palestinian Authority. They must maintain sustained, targeted and effective
operations to fight terror and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.
After my time here, I have a new appreciation for threat terrorism poses,
and for the president's sense of urgency in fighting it every day and every
It has been an amazing six days here. I know I speak for everyone who made
this trip with me when I say none of us will ever forget the things we've
seen here or the people we've met.
I sat with former refuseniks, heroes who spoke truth to power and helped
bring an evil empire to its knees.
I visited the Kohtel, the ancient Western Wall of the temple that still
stands as a symbol of G-d's infinite strength and love to billions of believers
of many faiths all around the world.
I shook the hand of the owner of the Moment Café which was bombed
last year. Today that café has been rebuilt. Moment Café is
now open for business in defiance of terror.
And I listened to another woman who told me her story.
Just a few years ago, she was, like me, a grandparent, and excited with
the news her daughter was expecting again.
Her daughter and son-in-law were on their way back from the doctor's office
where they had seen in the sonogram image the tiny form of
their third baby.
On the bus ride back home from the doctor, their joyful path met the profound
cruelty of a homicide bomber's. The terrorist detonated his weapon, and
this family and their baby were gone.
She told me this story this week in a park, surrounded by the play of children
directly affected by Palestinian terror. She called two of them over, and
introduced me to her two grandchildren who were orphaned that day.
Despite the story I heard, these children played, and laughed, and seemed
as hopeful about the future as any child could be.
And despite my heartache, I smiled too, because hope was with us in that
Even now, I am filled with a gratitude and humility I cannot express, I
stand before you today, in solidarity, as an Israeli of the heart.
The solidarity between the United States and Israel is deeper than the various
interests we share.
It goes to the very nature of man, to the endowment of our G-d-given rights
to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It is the universal solidarity of freedom. It transcends geography, culture
It is the solidarity of all people in all times who dream
of and sacrifice for liberty.
It is the solidarity of Moses and Lincoln. Of Tiananmen Square and the Prague
Of Andre Sakharov and Anne Frank.
And in its name I come to you in the midst a great global conflict
against evil with a simple message: "Be Not Afraid."
I do not say this as a foreigner, cavalier in my estimation of the dangers
that surround you.
Instead, I say it as an ally, in spite of the terrifying predators who threaten
all free nations, especially Israel.
My country is not ignorant, nor are we indifferent to your struggle.
We know our victory in the war on terror depends on Israel's survival.
And we know Israel's survival depends on the willingness of free nations
especially our own to stand by all endangered democracies
in their time of need.
We hear your voice cry out in the desert, and we will never leave your side.
Because freedom and terrorism cannot coexist.
Terrorism cannot be negotiated away or pacified.
Terrorism will either
destroy free nations, or free nations will destroy it.
Freedom and terrorism will struggle good and evil until
the battle is resolved.
These are the terms Providence has put before the United States, Israel,
and the rest of the civilized world.
They are stark, and they are final.
Those who call this
world-view "simplistic" are more than welcome to share their
"sophisticated" theories at any number of international debating
But while they do, free nations of courage will fight and win this war.
Israel's liberation from Palestinian terror is an essential component
of that victory.
And it's a liberation we are determined to secure not merely a
False security is no security, and murderers who take 90-day vacations
are still murderers.
The violence must stop.
An immediate and total end to Palestinian terrorism is not a concession
the civilized world asks of the Palestinian Authority to advance the peace
It is a prerequisite to the Palestinian Authority's invitation to it.
In the United States, we have two chambers in our national legislature:
the House of Representatives, where I serve, and the Senate.
But the voice of the people resides in the House.
And one month ago, the House overwhelmingly passed a resolution
which I was proud to co-author that states unequivocally the position
of that body.
That resolution reads in part
"Whereas Israel has no choice but to use its own measures to fight
terrorism if the Palestinians are unwilling to do so...
...Therefore be it resolved that the House of Representatives recognizes
and respects Israel's right to fight terrorism and acknowledges Israel's
fight against terrorism as part of the global war on terrorism."
This echoes years of continuous support for Israel in Congress, where
we remain committed to Israel's strength, security, and qualitative military
In short, it is the
position of the people of the United States, as expressed by their representatives
in Congress, that Israel's fight is our
And so shall it be until the last terrorist on earth is in a cell or a
The United States
does not seek conflict.
We are a peaceful people whose military strength has been consciously
built to deter aggression so that we might live in peace.
Ideally and I believe, eventually we will live in peace,
with friendly democracies in every corner of the earth, committed to justice
and human rights, "with malice toward none and charity for all."
In nations with governments of the people, by the people, and for the
people as in our two nations no tyrant or wicked regime
can exert their
It is in democracy that the hope for peace resides.
Democracies do not
starve their citizens, nor torture their dissidents, nor threaten their
In democracies, governments serve the people; not the other way around.
And, by their nature, democracies neither enable terror nor instigate
Citizens in democracies are too busy engaging in "Tikkun Olam"...
"repairing the world."
Raising their children.
Supporting their families. Strengthening their communities.
It is only through the freedom of democracy that a nation's capacity for
industry, knowledge, and peace can be fulfilled.
This war we fight this war on terror the United States shares with
free nations, like Israel, around the world we fight for this reason:
to establish and secure a community of nations safe to be free, and free
to be prosperous.
It's the same reason we fought Nazism, fascism, and Communism: the liberation
of all mankind from oppression.
Terrorism, like its tyrannical forebears, is borne of the idea that with
enough guns, enough fear, and enough violence, human power can control
the human spirit.
That through brute force, powerful men can erase the imprint of the Almighty
etched into the souls of all His children.
That through domination of the weak, in the words of the serpent, "Ye
shall be as G-ds."
Ladies and gentlemen, IT IS A LIE.
It was a lie at Auschwitz. It was a lie in the Gulag.
It was a lie behind the Iron Curtain. It was a lie in Kabul and Baghdad.
And today, it remains a lie in Beijing, and Havana, and Tehran, and Pyongyang,
and Damascus and Ramallah!
But history has taught us, The Lie's grip on civilization is only as tight
as civilization permits.
After September 11, 2001, OUR tolerance for The Lie is no more.
As President Bush said: "You're either with us, or you're with the
The war on terror is not a misunderstanding. It is not an opportunity
for negotiation or dialogue.
It's a battle between good and evil, between the Truth of liberty and
The Lie of terror.
This war is the moral extension of World War II and the Cold War, and
like the Nazis, fascists, and Communists before them, the terrorists are
going to lose.
History, as always,
will judge harshly those who would accommodate evil's aggression.
Standing up for good against evil is hard work.
It costs money and it costs blood, but after September 11, 2001, it's
a price we are determined to pay.
On that day, we left behind forever the illusion that terrorism was "someone
We were thrust into the horrible reality of terror that your nation has
We learned on that day what Israelis have known for decades: that evil
cannot long be ignored or accommodated.
Good must stand up to evil. We must stand up to terrorism.
There is no middle ground or moral equivalence; no "moderate"
position worth taking.
Appeasement is not an option!
Human freedom will not be subdued by human cruelty!
And so we fight: humbly, proudly, and together.
The common destiny of the United States and Israel is not an artificial
alliance dictated by our leaders.
It is a heartfelt friendship between the citizens of two democracies at
war, bound by the solidarity of freedom.
Brothers and sisters of Israel: "Be not afraid."
The American people stand with you, and so does our President.
George W. Bush is a man of integrity and honesty.
He is a man committed to the security of Israel and its destiny among
the great nations of the earth.
I've served with presidents of both parties, and I assure you, you could
not have a better friend than George W. Bush.
He understands the fundamental truth that terrorism and freedom cannot
coexist, and he has defined America's global mission in its terms.
All people who desire peace and freedom are therefore allies of the United
And included in that number are the Palestinian people who yearn for peace,
who for too long have been used as pawns by their terrorist leadership.
Their plight is real: they have been oppressed and abused by a pernicious
But their enemy is not Israel, nor its people, nor its democratic government.
Their enemy is Yasser Arafat.
Their enemy is Hamas, Hezbollah, and the vast network of violent men who
threaten this region like so many desert scorpions.
Leaders of these groups "who sharpen their tongues like swords"
blame Israel for the blood they themselves draw and the squalor
in which they themselves confine their people.
But the evidence is clear and the conclusion indisputable.
Israel is not the problem; Israel is the solution!
Just as freedom is impossible amid terror, so too is peace.
Terrorists are incapable of peace, because they live only to terrorize,
to intimidate, and to kill.
Democracies, therefore, must only make peace with those men capable of
A prerequisite to a lasting peace is the establishment of a genuine Palestinian
democracy that serves the Palestinian people.
David Ben-Gurion once said, "In Israel, in order to be a realist
you must believe in miracles."
But the most realistic miracle of all is liberal democracy.
I sincerely hope Abu Mazen is the man to finally rid his people of the
terrorist elements among them.
He may be.
And though Israel and the United States should adopt a "trust but
verify" attitude toward him, peace is worth giving him that chance.
On June 24 of last year, President Bush spoke to the world and called
on the "Palestinian people to elect new leadership, leaders not compromised
This they have done, and the world supports their decision.
In large part, then, the onus now shifts to the rest of the world, to
take the ascension of Abu Mazen to its logical conclusion: Arafat must
Nations and organizations however well-intentioned that
acknowledge Yasser Arafat and his network as legitimate representatives
of the Palestinian people validate The Lie, and perpetuate terror.
Whether in Brussels, Manhattan, or anywhere in between, legitimizing Arafat
undermines the prospects for peace.
Terrorism does not exist in a vacuum.
The campaigns of evil visited on innocent men, women, and children around
the world rely on state sponsorship.
Governments in Iran, Syria, and elsewhere who continue to offer support
and safe harbor to terrorists will be held accountable for their actions,
and suffer the consequences.
Terrorism is going to be ended in the Middle East and everywhere else,
and so too will regimes that support it.
In the words of President Bush: "We will not waver. Will not tire.
We will not falter, and we will not fail."
A lasting peace in the Middle East requires more than the temporary ascension
of Abu Mazen.
President Bush made this point at the White House last week, when he said,
"...the Middle East needs leaders of vision and courage and a determination
to serve the interests of their people."
These leaders must not only renounce terrorism, but eradicate it.
They must acknowledge Israel's right to exist, secure in its borders,
for all time.
And they must work to ensure their neighbors in the Arab community do
Nations around the world and around the Middle East who have helped achieve
these goals should be commended.
The work they are doing requires courage, and this is a time for courageous
If we do not do this difficult work, the status quo will remain.
Innocent people will die, and The Lie will live on.
But if we do...
If we do, the citizens of Israel will have what they've never had before.
And so will the Palestinian people.
If they rise up from terror and embrace the universal hopes of freedom
and democracy, the United States and the rest of the world will be there
to help them.
We will help them develop the infrastructure necessary to accommodate
a free society.
We will help them
establish the civic institutions necessary to foster a vibrant democracy.
Roads, hospitals, bridges, schools, accountable government, the rule of
law, economic opportunity.
These are things their terrorist leaders have long promised, but never
On the other hand, the United States has for a century helped
newly liberated peoples grow into great and prosperous democracies.
We did it in Western Europe and Japan after World War II, and Eastern
Europe after the Cold War.
We are doing it now in Afghanistan and Iraq.
And I want to assure the Palestinian people: there is nothing we would
like more than to do it again.
If you provide the hope, we will provide the help.
But if the Palestinian
people continue to allow violent men the murderous minions of The
Lie to speak for them, they will remain terrorized under the boot-heel
So I say again, to all Israelis and Palestinians who seek peace: "Be
Your liberation from The Lie is at hand.
More blood may be spilled and more tears shed, but a future of freedom
In the words of a 15-year-old girl hiding in Amsterdam less than a month
before she was taken to Auschwitz, "I hear the approaching thunder
that, one day, will destroy us... I feel the suffering of millions.
"And yet, when
I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the
better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will
return once more."
One day, Israel with the United States by her side will
live in freedom, security, and peace. And terrorism will perish from the
earth. But until that day to dawns, free men the world over whether
of the cross, the crescent, or the Star of David will stand with
Israel in defiance of evil.
Free men will never succumb to the ease or expedience of The Lie because
we will never forget that when fighting evil, determination is destiny.
May the G-d of Abraham continue to bless the United States, Israel, and
each and every one of you.'
And in His name: Ahl teerah [Be not afraid]!
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