From Israel, Nadler Blasts State Department's Stand on Security Fences

Aug 4, 2003

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today chided the State Department for "floating" a desire to decrease foreign aid to Israel unless the Israeli government stops construction of a security fence served to protect civilians from Palestinian terrorists.

"The State Department's comments regarding foreign aid to Israel are not only inappropriate, but unfair. Perhaps the State Department should focus their efforts on stopping Palestinian terrorism in Israel, instead of attempting to punish the Israeli government for taking necessary precautions against the serious and continuing threat of terrorism by the Palestinian Authority," said Nadler.

"Had the Palestinian Authority met its obligations to end terrorism, the Israeli government would not have started building the security fence in the first place. It is ridiculous that this logical step by the government to protect its people should be faulted by the State Department. Even more ridiculous is the notion that the U.S. government should decrease foreign aid to Israel for taking necessary steps to stop terrorism while the United States continues its own war on terrorism," said Nadler.

In response to growing concerns of the Israeli people, the Israeli government is currently building a fence near the border between Israel and the West Bank to prevent terrorist attacks against its citizens. Since September 2000, more than 800 Israelis have been killed and 5,600 have been wounded by Palestinian terrorists.

Gaza is currently separated from Israel by an obstacle similar to the one being constructed between Israel and the West Bank. Of the 122 suicide bombers that killed 454 people in Israel during the last three years, not one of them entered the country through Gaza.

"To stop terrorism against the United States, the Bush Administration has called for the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. However, the Israeli government is somehow wrong for putting up a security fence? The security fence is a necessary protection for the people of Israel, who have seen far too many years of violence and terrorism against them," said Nadler