April 17th, 2002

[Washington, DC] -Congressman Brad Sherman joined leading Israeli and American political leaders, victims of terror, and tens of thousands of people standing in solidarity with the government and people of Israel at a rally on Monday at the United States Capitol. Sherman serves on the House International Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on the Mideast.

"We live in a world which, inexplicably, categorizes Arafat differently than Mullah Omar. There is no difference in their behavior," said Sherman. "Israel continues to live under the threat of terrorism, and terrorism as apolitical tactic is unacceptable. No alleged grievance can justify intentionally blowing up men, women and children in restaurants, in shopping malls and on public buses," said Sherman.

Proportional to population, far more Israelis have fallen victim to terrorism in the past year and a half than the United States lost in the September 11th attacks. Yet, only after being contained by Israel’s military and pressured by the United States did Yasir Arafat make any effort to condemn terrorist activities by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade – the primary agents of violence against Israel- and others in areas under his control. For her part, Israel has had no alternative but to attempt to dismantle the infrastructure sheltered and supported by the Palestinian Authority, intent on wiping out Israel.

While the mainstream media has been more attentive lately to the situation in Israel, Sherman continues to urge a renewed focus on Iraq and on the compelling need to dismantle Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program, calling attention to the clear and present danger posed by the Iraqi dictator.

"Americans, since September 11th, have a heightened sense of empathy toward the Israeli people. We are united with Israel in our mutual effort to root out global terrorism," said Sherman. "And while Americans focus on the grisly scenes at Israel’s pizzerias and cafes, and shares Israel’s pain and suffering, Europe’s focus, for the most part, seems misguided. Ultimately, it is essential that the international community not allow Ramallah to distract us from Bagdad. Because as terrible as these incidents are, if we allow Saddam Hussein to develop nuclear weapons, the death toll could be staggering."