Monday, November 5th. 2001 Volume 67, Issue 53


 
 









 
'War on terrorism' may not be enough

By Tim Williams
Daily Cougar Staff

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called upon the United States to expand its war on terrorism to include regimes in
Arab states like Iran and Syria in a Sunday speech at Houston's Congregation Emanu El.

"Terrorists have to reside in sovereign states," Netanyahu said. "They have to have a place that's safe, where they can hatch plans and
train fighters."

The former leader of Israel's Likud Party identified Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan's Taliban, "Yasser Arafat's dictatorship (in Palestine)," Syria
and Yemen as regimes that offer such safe havens to terrorists.

"Syria has (terrorist organizations') offices with nameplates on them," he said.

Comparing suicidal terrorists to Japanese pilots attacking U.S. ships late in World War II, he said, "If you want to go after the kamikaze
pilot, you have to go after the carrier."

Netanyahu was elected prime minister in 1996 with just a 1 percent winning margin in a divided Israeli parliament. His election followed
the assassination of opposing Labor Party leader Yitzhak Rabin by an Israeli law student opposed to the Rabin's policies in negotiations
with the Palestinian Authority.

A controversial figure in a wary America, Netanyahu's visit garnered a large police presence and required audience members to pass
through metal detectors.

Terrorists compose a small faction of the vast Muslim population, but they have a strong will to remove all Western influences from
what they consider to be the core territories of Islam, Netanyahu said.

"They have a bloodlust not only for the enemy -- they produce and glorify hordes willing to die for their effort," he said.

The terrorists are successful in carrying out attacks against the United States by placing individuals here, he said.

"When you have this kind of structure, you don't need intercontinental ballistic missiles," he said.

The post-Sept. 11 period is a watershed for Western opinion toward all terrorists and the states that sponsor them, he said.

"We have the power but not the will to destroy the terrorists," he said. "Unless we have moral clarity, we lose.

"The terrorists' main weapon is confusion," he said. In the case of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, it was a result of
neighboring Arab states attacking Israel. "They offer the result of their aggression as cause for further attacks."

The next attack may change history, he said.

"Does anyone doubt that if they had nuclear weapons, they would use them?" he asked rhetorically.

Netanyahu's speech was preceded by acoustic renditions of "The Star Spangled Banner" and Israel's national anthem, "Hatikva."
Attendees continued singing nationalistic folk songs from both countries after the half-hour speech ended. The duality in song
reflected many singers' allegiance to two countries that now find themselves at odds over how to classify a multitude of organizations
and countries that could be perceived as having legitimate or illegitimate grievances against Israel.

"We cannot negotiate with terrorists," Houston computer specialist Syd Waldman, who attended the speech, said of Bush
Administration efforts to push for advancement in the Israel-Palestine peace negotiations. The United States and Israel will have to
unite against terrorists or be destroyed, he said.

After Netanyahu's speech, Jewish Federation of Greater Houston President Esther Polland made an appeal for attendees to donate
toward the purchase of bulletproof vests for Israeli school children.

"We cannot be at ground-zero in New York or Israel, but we can support and rebuild Israel with financial contributions," Polland said.
Jewish American support is more important now because Israelis believe U.S. support in general is flagging, she said.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and the Consulate of Israel sponsored Netanyahu's visit.
 
 
 

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