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Jewish World Review April 19, 2002 / 8 Iyar, 5762

Binyamin Netanyahu

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The litmus test for authentic 'freedom fighters'




Prepared remarks to the pro-Israel rally at Washington, DC Mall, April 15, 2002

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | At this very hour, the entire nation of Israel is silent. The Jewish state is commemorating the 20,000 soldiers who gave their lives to defend the state of Israel and the thousands of civilians struck down by the forces of terror in our long battle for freedom. Just a few months ago, America too lost thousands of its citizens to terrorist savagery. And we stand here today to honor these fallen sons and daughters of liberty.

But I've also come here today, my dear friends, to give thanks, to thank all of you for standing up for the Jewish state when so many outside America stood silent -- -- to thank the American people and their government for remembering the difference between freedom and tyranny, between right and wrong, between good and evil, to thank President Bush for boldly declaring that terrorism, the deliberate attack on civilians, is never justified; it's always evil -- -- and for bravely charting a course that will lead the free world to victory.

No greater friend of Israel has ever been in the White House, and no president has ever championed a cause that was more just. Israel and the United States are today fighting the same battle, waging the same war, confronting the same evil. Like the United States, Israel did not seek this war. It was forced on us by a savage enemy that glorifies in a culture of death, a culture where murderers are called martyrs and where suicide is sanctified.

My friends, an enemy that sends children to die and to kill other children is an enemy that cannot be placated. An enemy that openly preaches the destruction of our state is not a partner for peace. With such evil, there can be no negotiations and no concessions -- -- because the only way to confront -- to fight such evil is to confront it. The only way to defeat it is to destroy it. And once terror is defeated, I believe other Palestinians will come to the fore with whom we will forge a genuine and lasting peace.

Now, I don't want you to be fooled by the apologists of terror. They tell us that the way to end terror is to appease it, to meet or give in to the terrorists' demands -- because -- listen to their argument -- because, they tell us, the root cause of terrorism -- did you ever hear that? -- the root cause of terrorism is the deprivation of national and civic rights.

Well, let's examine that proposition. If that were the case, then in the thousands of conflicts and struggles for national and civil rights in modern times, we would expect to have found endless examples of terrorism. But guess what: We don't.

Mahatma Gandhi did not use terrorism in fighting for the independence of India. The peoples of Eastern Europe did not resort to terrorism to bring down the Berlin Wall. But one other example; one other example. Martin Luther King did not resort to terrorism in fighting for equal rights for all Americans. In fact, speaking in this city, in this very place, four decades ago, Martin Luther King preached a creed that was the very opposite of terrorism -- not violence, non-violence; completely the opposite.

So now we must ask ourselves, why did all these people pursue their cause without resorting to terror? Because they believed in the sanctity of each human life, because they were committed to the ideals of liberty, because they championed the values of democracy; simply put, because they were democrats, not terrorists. That's why.

But, you see, those who practice terrorism do not believe in these ideals. In fact, they believe the very opposite. They believe that the cause they espouse is so all-encompassing, so total, that it justifies anything and everything. They believe that it allows them to break any law, to discard any moral code, to trample all human rights into the dust. They believe that their cause permits them to indiscriminately murder and maim innocent men and women. They believe that it lets them blow up a bus full of babies.

My friends, there's a name for the mindset that produces this evil. It is called totalitarianism. Indeed, this is the root cause of terrorism. The root cause of terrorism is the totalitarian mindset, a tyranny that systematically brainwashes the minds of its subjects, to suspend all moral constraints for the sake of a twisted cause. And this is why, from its inception, totalitarianism has always been wedded to terrorism, from Lenin to Stalin to Hitler to the ayatollahs to Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden to Yasser Arafat.

My friends, I want you to listen to me carefully, because I want to say something else. It is not merely that the goals of terrorists do not justify the means they use. It is that the means that they choose tell you what their real goals are, because those who target the innocent will never protect freedom and human rights.

And how can we see that? We can see that clearly every time terrorists come to power. Those who fight as terrorists rule as terrorists, setting up dark dictatorships, whether in Iraq or in Iran or in Afghanistan or in Arafatistan.

And indeed, Yasser Arafat is the quintessential terrorist. Both his means and his goals are illegitimate. Arafat pursues a goal of policide, the destruction of a state, by employing the means of suicide, suicide and mass terror. Arafat does not want a Palestinian state next to Israel. He wants a Palestinian state instead of Israel.

But my friends, any time that Israel was confronted with an Arab leader who was genuinely interested in peace and delivered a message of peace to his own people in Arabic, every time we were confronted with such a leader, we made peace.

Menachem Begin made peace with Egypt's Anwar Sadat, and Yitzhak Rabin made peace with Jordan's King Hussein. But five Israeli prime ministers have been unable to make peace with Arafat. Do you know why? For a simple reason: Because Arafat does not want peace.

Now, let me show you the difference between one leader and another. Until the day I die, I will not forget the day that King Hussein came with me to visit the bereaved families of seven young Israeli school girls, 12 years old, gunned down by a deranged Jordanian soldier. He knelt before the families, before the mothers and fathers. He was weeping. There were tears streaming down his eyes and he said, "Please, please forgive me. Please forgive me."

Now, contrast that to Yasser Arafat. Do you know what he does? He glorifies these mass killers. He calls public squares after them. He names buildings, streets in their honor. He has suicide kindergarten camps. He has suicide universities. He has suicide museums. For G-d's sake, this is the man who pays the checks. He signs the checks for the explosives of the suicides. He is a terrorist, if there ever was one.

Now, you may remember that many right here, right here in this town, and many in Israel, many in Washington and many in Jerusalem, had hoped, at the beginning of the Oslo accords, that Arafat would prove to be a statesman, a Palestinian King Hussein. Instead he's proved to be a Palestinian Saddam Hussein.

And I ask you, what do you do with Saddam Hussein? Do you negotiate with him? Do you make concessions to him? Do you appease him? No, exactly. You do the same thing to him that the U.S. just did to the Taliban. You defeat him.

America rightly defeated the Taliban. And today, in an historic mission that deserves the support of civilized peoples and nations everywhere, President Bush is courageously leading the free world to dismantle Saddam's regime before it acquires nuclear weapons.

Well, if we're to end terror and begin peace in our own part of the world, Israel must too now dismantle Arafat's regime, a mission also worthy of support from all foes of terror and all friends of liberty.

I think that garnering this support is much easier now than it was a year ago. I think that the face of Palestinian terror has finally been unmasked. The people of this great nation are not fooled by Yasser Arafat and the con artists he employs on American television. Americans know that Yasser Arafat is nothing more than Osama bin Laden with good PR. Americans know that if it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it talks like a duck, it's a terrorist.

Today, gathered in the capital of liberty, we send a powerful message to the entire world. To those in Europe who 60 years ago did nothing to prevent the slaughters of millions of Jews and who today side with the mass killers who seek to destroy the Jewish state, we send this message: History's shame will once again fall on you.

To the anti-Semites of the world, we send a message of defiance. The Jewish people are not afraid. We will roll back the savage assaults, those assaults that you direct against us. We will courageously stand up to you and to all other enemies. And to the terrorists and terror regimes that support them, we send a warning: The free world, led by President Bush, has awoken to your evil. Terror will be given no quarter, no peace, until it is wiped out from our world.

My friends, I want to congratulate all of you on the largest rally in support of Israel in Israel's history. I want to assure you that standing tall, standing proud, we will win this war. We will secure our states and we'll preserve our liberty. And in defending the Jewish state, all of you here today in Washington, Jews and non-Jews alike, are defending the cause of liberty, a cause that has once again made America, Israel and the defenders of freedom the last, best hope on earth.

We shall win.



Mr. Netanyahu is a former Israeli prime minister. Comment by clicking here.

Up

04/11/02: 'The motivating force behind terror is neither desperation nor destitution --- it's hope'
09/24/01: 'Today we are all Americans'

© 2002, Bibi Netanyahu