Terrorist Suicide Bombers Are 'Killers,' Wolfowitz Says
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 15, 2002 Terrorist suicide bombers who have killed hundreds of Jews during months-long fighting between Israelis and Palestinians are "killers," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz said here today.
Wolfowitz spoke as President Bush's representative at an afternoon demonstration before a crowd of tens of thousands on the National Mall. The gathering also featured several speakers from Congress and Jewish-American leaders.
"President Bush wants you to know that he stands in solidarity with you," Wolfowitz told the audience, adding that terrorism, the hatred of Israel, and the murder of innocent people "must end."
But Israelis "are not the only victims of the violence in the Middle East," Wolfowitz emphasized, noting, "Innocent Palestinians are suffering and dying in great numbers as well. It is critical that we recognize and acknowledge that fact.
"Palestine and their leaders must also recognize another fact, that suicide bombers are the single greatest obstacle to ending their suffering and to realizing the Palestinian state that the whole world is prepared to recognize."
Achieving peace in the Middle East "is the only way to end the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis, Arabs and Jews," the deputy defense secretary remarked.
"Those who blow themselves up to deliberately destroy innocent life are not suicide bombers, they are killers," he remarked. "As President Bush has said, they are not martyrs, they are murderers."
Americans and Israelis value human life, liberty and deplore the deliberate killing of innocents, Wolfowitz remarked. "I believe in my heart that the majority of Palestinians do so as well," he emphasized.
Peace in the Middle East can become a reality, Wolfowitz noted, as he referred to late-Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's 1977 meeting with the Israeli Knesset, or legislature. "That bold and courageous move was a psychological breakthrough, and the Israeli response was overwhelming," Wolfowitz continued. "The result was a giant step toward peace that has endured to this day.
"In that historic speech to the Knesset," he added, "Anwar Sadat spoke in words that are still compelling 25 years later." Wolfowitz quoted Sadat: "Any life that is lost in war is a human life, be it that of an Arab or an Israeli. Innocent children who are deprived of the care and compassion of their parents are ours they are ours, whether they live in Arab lands, or in Israel."
Today, "hard decisions must be made" by both Israelis and Palestinians "to achieve a lasting peace," Wolfowitz said, adding, "Peace has a political price. But, it is a price to be paid at the negotiating table, not at the threat of bombs."
"The future does not belong to the terrorists," Wolfowitz said. "It belongs to those who dream the oldest and noblest dream of all, the dream of peace among nations."