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Transcript of remarks at Pro-Israel Rally
By Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, West Front of United States Capitol, Washington D.C., Monday, April 15, 2002

MR. WOLFOWITZ: Thank you for that. Senators, congressmen, all of you who have joined us here today, President Bush asked me to come, to extend greetings to each one of you, and to thank you for being here. (Applause. Cheers.)

It is my privilege to represent a president who has rallied the world against the forces of terror, and to tell you that President Bush is deeply moved that so many people came here to demonstrate solidarity with Israel and support for the global war on terrorism. (Applause. Cheers.)

Like you, like me, the president has been horrified by the scenes of suffering and carnage we are witnessing in the Middle East. And so he sent me here today with this simple message, a message to each of you who rallies here on the steps of this historic building, a building whose halls have witnessed so many of the great dramas of peace and freedom in American history. To all of you here today, President Bush wants you to know that he stands in solidarity with you. (Applause. Cheers.)

Private citizens and public officials, Christians, Jews and Muslims, President Bush joins the words of truth and affirmation that go out to the world from this place -- words that say terrorism must end. (Applause. Cheers.) Hatred of Israel must end. (Applause. Cheers.) The murder of innocents must end. (Applause. Cheers.) And the tomorrow of Israel's children and the future of Palestine's children, and the future of all the children of the Middle East must be filled not with fear and death but with the hope of peace and the expectation of freedom and, yes, with the love that God enjoins his children to share with one another.

In the words of Malachai, "Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us?"

For people who cherish freedom and seek peace, particularly those who do so in the Middle East, these are difficult times. But such times can also deepen our understanding of the truth. This truth we know that the single greatest threat to peace and freedom in our time is terrorism. And the advance of peace requires the end of terror. (Applause.) And we know another truth as well. (Shouting from crowd.) Israelis -- Israelis are not the only victims of the violence in the Middle East. Innocent Palestinians are suffering and dying in great numbers as well. (Boos from crowd.) It is critical that we recognize and acknowledge that fact. (Boos from crowd.)

But the people of 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. (Boos from crowd.) Peace in the Middle East is the only way to end the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis, Arabs and Jews. To those who champion the cause of an independent Palestine: We say this -- (shouting and jeering from the crowd) --

CHANTERS: Down with Arafat!

MR. WOLFOWITZ: To those who champion the cause of an independent Palestine, we say this: Stopping terror is the most important thing you can do to serve the Palestinian cause. (Applause.) Those who blow themselves up to deliberately destroy innocent life are not suicide bombers -- they are killers. (Applause. Cheers.) As President Bush has said, they are not martyrs -- they are murderers. (Applause. Cheers.) Those who fill the minds of children with hate, who use the bodies of children as weapons, who exploit the deaths of the young to further their own power have as their goal the destruction of peace and freedom.

So this truth we also affirm: that the future does not belong to the terrorists. It belongs to those who dream the oldest and noblest dream of all, the dream of peace among nations. We gather here today to stand with Israel in this time of trial. The people of America have always had much in common with the people of Israel. Like the people of Israel, we value human life and liberty. We deplore the deliberate killing of innocents. And I believe in my heart the majority of Palestinians do as well.

But since September 11th, we Americans have one thing more in common with Israelis. On that day America was attacked by suicide bombers. At that moment every American understood what it was like to live in Jerusalem, or Netanya or Haifa. And since September 11th Americans now know why we must fight and win the war on terrorism. (Applause. Cheers.)

As the president said in his address to the nation, in a single instant we realized that this would be a decisive decade in the history of liberty; that we have been called to a unique role in human events. Rarely, he said, has the world faced a choice more clear or consequential.

It is my -- (off mike) -- see up close what the world seems from a distance: the determination and leadership of President Bush as he directs the war against terrorism. (Applause. Cheers.) It has also been my privilege to help Secretary Rumsfeld as he leads those who wear our country's uniform. (Applause. Cheers.) And so today I ask you to express our gratitude to the brave men and women of America who put their lives on the line to fight the global war on terror. (Applause. Cheers.) We salute them.

Together we have now embarked upon a great cause. In Afghanistan we have driven the Taliban from power and put al Qaeda on the run. But we cannot stop there. Around the world we are working to make certain that terrorism finds no safe haven, no sanctuary, anywhere in the world. And we must confront -- and we must confront what the president calls the threat of terror on a catastrophic scale, the danger of terrorist states armed with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. No people craves peace more than the Israelis. (Applause. Cheers.) They demonstrated that when President Anwar Sadat of Egypt traveled to Israel and spoke to the Knesset, the first Arab leader to speak directly and respectively to the Israeli people. That bold and courageous move was a psychological breakthrough, and the Israeli response was overwhelming. The result was a giant step toward peace that has endured to this day.

In that historic speech to the Knesset, Anwar Sadat spoke in words that are still compelling 25 years later: "Any life," he said, "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, the president of Egypt said, whether they live in Arab land or in Israel. There are moments in the lives of nations and peoples, he continued, "when those who shoulder great responsibilities must have the courage to make decisions that fit the magnitude of the situation and never to forget that infallibility belongs to God alone."

Today the terrible suffering on both sides is the real price of war. President Bush has said Israel faces hard choices of its own. The United States recognizes, as do the people of Israel, that hard decisions must be made by both sides to achieve a lasting peace. Peace has a political price, but it is a price to be paid at the negotiating table, not at the threat of bombs. (Applause. Cheers.)

As the president said to the Congress three months ago, America will lead by defending liberty and justice, because they are right and true, and unchanging to all people everywhere. America will take the side of brave men and women who advocate these values around the world, including the Islamic world, because, the president, we have a greater objective than eliminating threats and containing resentment. We seek a just and peaceful world beyond the war on terror.

So let me conclude with these words from the Psalms. "Let us pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls, and security within your citadels. And I will say peace be within you." May God bless America, may God bless Israel, and may God bless all the peacemakers in the world. Thank you very much. (Applause. Cheers.)