- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Jewish appeal

Israeli Ambassador David Ivry is calling on Jewish-Americans to stand by Israel in this "dangerous moment in the history" of the Jewish state.

"Now is the time to advocate on behalf of Israel in your communities, in Congress and in the media," he told a "solidarity rally" at Temple Beth Ami in Rockville on Sunday.

"Now is the time to ensure the security of Israel through the unity of our people. Now is the time to demonstrate to the world that Israel will never stand alone."

Mr. Ivry blamed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for promoting terrorism against Israeli civilians and for refusing "to rein" in suicide bombers and other militants "growing under his control."

"We demand that the Palestinian Authority take immediate and sustained action against terror, put a stop to incitement, confiscate illegal weapons and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure," Mr. Ivry said. "Only by doing so can Arafat demonstrate that he is interested in peace."

As Mr. Ivry spoke in the Washington suburb, an Israeli woman was killed in the West Bank, and Israeli troops killed several suspected Palestinian militants. The United States has also criticized Mr. Arafat for failing to stop the violence.

"For 18 months, Israel has endured a sustained campaign of terror, which has included more than 12,000 armed attacks, in which more than 350 Israelis have been killed," Mr. Ivry said.

The Associated Press yesterday reported the latest death toll in the escalating violence at 365 Israelis killed and 1,236 Palestinians killed.

Mr. Ivry said the suicide bombings "unmask the hatred and terror spread by the Palestinian Authority."

A suicide bomber in Jerusalem last week was a Palestinian police officer, detained for plotting a bombing attack in February and later released by Palestinian security forces, Mr. Ivry said.

"It is undeniably clear that Yasser Arafat has made the strategic decision to proceed on the path of escalation and use terror as a means of attaining his political goals," he said.

"Israel will not sacrifice the security of its border, soldiers, citizens or children. Israel will not yield to terror."

Greek inspiration

President Bush yesterday praised Greece for its historic idealism and its participation in the war against terrorism, as he marked Greek Independence Day.

"Greece was one of only a handful of countries that fought alongside the United States in every major 20th century war, and Americans will always remember Greek heroism and Greek sacrifice for the sake of freedom," Mr. Bush said.

"Greece and America are once again standing united this time in the fight against terrorism. Greece is a part of the coalition of nations helping bring justic to those who would harm us, harm the people of Greece, harm anybody who loves freedom."

Mr. Bush noted the influence of classical Greek philosophy on the Founders of the United States.

"Many of the Founders knew Greek history better than our own," he said. "They drew on Greece's political heritage in framing our Constitution. America's love of liberty has deep roots in the spirit of Greece."

Mr. Bush was joined by Archbishop Demetrios, head of the American Greek Orthodox Church, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Magriotis, Greek Ambassador Alexandre Philon and Cypriot Ambassador Erato Kozakou Marcoullis.

Archbishop Demetrios called freedom "the foundation stone of the American nation."

The ceremony in the Old Executive Office Building marked the 1821 revolution when Greece regained independence after 400 years under the Ottoman Turkish empire.

Embassy reopens

The U.S. Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina reopened yesterday, four days after is was closed because of suspicions that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network was planning to attack Americans in Bosnia.

The United States refused to discuss the reasons for the closure, but the Associated Press reported that a Bosnian official said members of bin Laden's al Qaeda organization planned the attacks in a meeting in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria confirmed that it was searching for al Qaeda terrorists at the request of the United States.

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