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Congress & the Middle East: House Resolution Condemns Attacks on Israel

(June 25, 2003)

A House resolution, passed 399-5, condemned attacks on Israel since President Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas met in Jordan three weeks ago to pledge for the U.S.-developed peace plan. The resolution "expresses solidarity with the Israeli people as they respond to ongoing terrorist attacks" and "acknowledges Israel's fight against terrorism as part of the global war against terrorism." It expresses sympathy to the families of innocent Israelis and Palestinians killed in the latest violence, and urged worldwide support for the Palestinian Authority in its attempt to confront the attacks. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., John Dingell, D-Mich., Jerry Kleczka, D-Wis., Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif. voted against the resolution. Seven others voted present. Text:

H. Res. 294

Condemning the terrorism inflicted on Israel since the Aqaba Summit & expressing solidarity with the Israeli people in their fight against terrorism .

Whereas Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) announced at the June 4, 2003, Aqaba Summit, `Our goal is clear, and we will implement it firmly and without compromise: a complete end to violence and terrorism';

Whereas Prime Minister Abbas also pledged at the Aqaba Summit to establish a system based on `rule of law, [a] single political authority, [and] weapons only in the hands of those who are in charge of upholding the law and order . . .';

Whereas the Middle East roadmap begins with the assertion that `A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism (when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty)';

Whereas 22 innocent Israelis nevertheless were murdered and scores wounded in three separate suicide bombings within less than a week after the Aqaba Summit, and the death toll from these terrorist actions is the equivalent of 1,100 on the basis of the United States population, nearly ten times the number of battle deaths the United States suffered in the recent Iraq War;

Whereas Palestinians are also victims of these terrorists, who undermine prospects for a just and lasting peace;

Whereas Islamic fundamentalist Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad consistently make clear their opposition to Israel's existence in any form and within any borders and their determination to use violence and terrorism to achieve their anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic goals, and Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi vowed `not to leave one Jew in Palestine';

Whereas experience with terrorism demonstrates that there can be no productive negotiations or dialogue with terrorists and that a policy based on compromise with terrorists can only be doomed to failure;

Whereas the concept of `cycle of violence', which implies moral equivalence between terrorists and their victims, should be rejected as a description of Israeli-Palestinian dynamics, since Palestinian terrorism justifies Israeli counterterrorist operations as the response of a legitimate government defending its citizens;

Whereas Israeli counterterrorist operations would cease entirely were Palestinian terrorism to cease; and

Whereas Israel has no choice but to use its own measures to fight terrorism if the Palestinians are unwilling to do so: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) condemns in the harshest terms the recent terrorist actions that victimized innocent Israelis;

(2) expresses solidarity with the Israeli people as they respond to ongoing terrorist attacks;

(3) expresses sympathy to the families of innocent Israelis and Palestinians who have lost their lives;

(4) commends the President of the United States for his vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security;

(5) affirms that this vision can be fully realized only once terrorism is defeated, so that a new state may be created based on rule of law and respect for human rights;

(6) recognizes and respects Israel's right to fight terrorism and acknowledges Israel's fight against terrorism as part of the global war against terrorism;

(7) calls on all states to cease recognition of and political and material support for any Palestinian and other terrorist groups;

(8) calls on all states immediately to establish effective mechanisms to ensure that funding from private citizens cannot be directed to terrorist groups for any purpose whatsoever, including ostensible humanitarian purposes;

(9) calls on all states to provide support to the Palestinian Authority in its effort to confront and fight terror; and

(10) calls on all states to assist the Palestinian people in creating the institutions of a democratic state that will respect the rule of law and live in peace with its neighbors.

Sources: Library of Congress