- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Terrorist hatred

Israeli Ambassador David Ivry yesterday denounced hatred against the United States and Israel as the "most devastating threat to our future."

Mr. Ivry, in an address to the Jewish Community of Greater Washington, said hatred is at the root of the current wave of terrorism.

"The Arab-speaking media is spreading messages that glorify suicide bombings and promote violence against innocent civilians as a tool for achieving political goals," he said.

"Children in the Middle East are not born to hate. They are taught to hate. Their hatred toward Israel and the United States is the direct result of incitement and political manipulation."

The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon awoke the world to the "danger of incitement, the price of ignorance and the pain of war," he said.

"Hatred has once again proved to be the most devastating threat to our future," Mr. Ivry added.

The ambassador said the fight was different when he was a pilot in the Israeli air force.

"In the air, the threats were clear, the fight was fair, and the Israeli air force could be victorious. And we were," he said.

Today, the United States and Israel fight "faceless enemies" that respect no borders, he said.

"They lie in the shadows of beliefs, and surface in the promotion of violence, justified by hate," he said.

Mr. Ivry dismissed Osama bin Laden's "cynical attempt to justify mass murder" by sudden support for the Palestinian cause, although he never identified with the conflict before the U.S. bombing in Afghanistan crippled his al Qaeda terrorist network.

"Israel is not the cause of international terrorism," he said. "Like the United States, it is a victim of its devastation."

Mr. Ivry also criticized Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for failing to "dismantle the terrorist networks operating openly under his control."

"On the contrary," he added, "[Mr. Arafat] has encouraged, promoted and aided their efforts.

"For 14 months, Israel has faced a sustained campaign of terror characterized by Palestinian violence, incitement and hollow promises of peace," he said of the latest intifada, or uprising.

Mr. Ivry also justified Israel's policy of targeting terrorist suspects for assassination.

"You must fight terror with prevention," he said. "We cannot afford to sit back and let terror unfold."

'Big announcement'

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will make a "big announcement" about Afghanistan on his visit to Washington today, a U.N. diplomat told our reporter, Betsy Pisik, yesterday.

Mr. Annan's announcement is expected to be about new aid to Afghanistan.

He will also discuss AIDS and Third World development issues and possibly Iraq in discussions with President Bush and other officials, an aide said.

Mr. Annan has meetings scheduled with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Illinois Republican Rep. Henry J. Hyde, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, Delaware Democratic Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Mr. Annan will also receive the democracy award from the National Democratic Institute.

No more tax haven

British Ambassador Christopher Meyer yesterday signed an agreement with the United States to close a tax haven in the British-owned Cayman Islands.

The agreement will allow the United States access to previously secret accounts in the Caymans, a haven for tax evaders and money laundering.

The United States estimates about $800 billion is on deposit in about 600 banks in the Caymans.

Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill, who signed the agreement on behalf of the United States, told the Associated Press, "It is my sincere hope that, with the signing of this agreement, the Cayman Islands will be recognized as a leading financial center that is committed to upholding international standards."

Peter J. Smith, governor of the Caymans, also signed the agreement and pledged that the islands will "embrace sound regulation and keep pace with international standards."

"We have made a clear choice to be leaders," he said.

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