FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 3, 2001

Contact: Adam Segal
(202) 547-3577

JCPA SUPPORTS ISRAEL'S RIGHT OF SELF DEFENSE AGAINST TERROR USING ALL MEANS NECESSARY

NEW YORK - The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) today released the following statement in response to the terror attacks and murder of Israelis:

"The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is horrified and deeply saddened by the senseless murder of at least 25 innocent Israelis, including many children and teenagers, during weekend attacks in Jerusalem and Haifa. We express our condolences to the families of those brutally killed in these atrocities and our wishes for a full recovery to the injured. We also join President Bush who, on behalf of the American people, expressed his sorrow and asked God to bless those who were killed Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The JCPA supports Israel's right of self defense against terrorism with all means necessary. The defense of one's citizens is the first responsibility of any government. The time for waiting for Yasser Arafat to confront the terrorist groups operating in areas under Palestinian Authority control, particularly Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and to put an end to suicide attacks and anti-Israel incitement, has run out.

For eight years, since the 1993 signing of the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn, Israel, the United States and the American Jewish community all have urged Arafat to crack down on terrorism and join Israel in peace as required under the agreement. After hundreds of terrorist attacks, Arafat continues to violate his obligations under the Oslo Accords, which have been incorporated into numerous subsequent documents, most recently the Tenet cease-fire agreement.

It is now up to Israel to find the response that will prevent such barbaric attacks from occurring in the future. There is no simple way to pursue terrorists and those who harbor them. The JCPA will stand behind the Israeli government at it seeks to develop the most effective strategy for defending its citizens.

JCPA expresses its deep appreciation to President George Bush and senior administration officials for showing strong and unyielding support for Israel following these terrorist attacks and the Israeli government's initial response. The President's unequivocal call on Arafat to confront terror groups and end these attacks is reminiscent of the actions he has taken in Afghanistan. America and Israel stand united in the fight against global terrorism, which seeks to undermine democracy, freedom, and a commitment to seek genuine peace."

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JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 13 national and 123 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.