- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2002

'Terror will not prevail'

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon invited families of victims of the September 11 attacks to a memorial concert this week and pledged that "terror will not prevail."

"We mourn the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York City, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania and honor the strength and perseverance that the people of the United States have displayed in the face of tragedy," he said.

The guests at the Israeli Embassy reception included the families of Gerald Fisher, Lt. Darin Pontell and Ernest Willcher, who worked at the Pentagon, and David Charlebois, co-pilot of the jetliner that hit the building.

"I offer my sincere condolences on behalf of my country. Israel is a nation that knows only too well the pain and suffering caused by terrorism," Mr. Ayalon said. "The memory of your loved ones and their values is a source of strength for us all."

The concert also marked Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year celebrated this weekend.

"It is a time of renewal," the ambassador said. "It is an opportunity to reflect on the past year and look forward with a fresh sense of determination to uphold the values of freedom and democracy that are so important for us.

"It is a time of commitment. We commit ourselves never to forget this tragedy and to work constantly in the fight against terror and evil. Terror will not prevail. We will succeed."

Mr. Ayalon also said Israel admires and supports President Bush "and his administration in their courageous and determined leadership in the campaign against terrorism."

The concert featured Israeli-born concert pianist Joseph Kalichstein, the chamber music adviser to the Kennedy Center.

Trans-Atlantic vibes

Americans and Europeans alike want Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein overthrown and see terrorism as the greatest threat to their security, according to a massive trans-Atlantic survey that debunks news stories of European angst over President Bush's plans for Iraq.

However, most Europeans said U.S. foreign policy was partly to blame for the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"Despite reports of a rift between U.S. and European governments, our survey finds more similarities than differences in how American and European publics view the larger world," said Craig Kennedy, president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

More than 9,000 Americans and Europeans in six countries were interviewed in the survey released this week by the Marshall Fund and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.

Sixty-five percent of Americans and 60 percent of Europeans back the removal of Saddam but believe the United States needs the approval of the United Nations.

Fifty-five percent of Americans and 47 percent of Europeans give Mr. Bush an "excellent" or "good" rating on the war against terrorism, but only 33 percent of Americans and 20 percent of Europeans approve of his handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Fifty-five percent of Europeans held U.S. foreign policy at least partly to blame for the September 11 attacks.

Pollsters surveyed more than 3,200 Americans and 1,000 citizens each in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. The full report is available at

Guest workers needed

Antonio Garza Jr. endorsed a guest-worker program for foreigners in the United States when he appeared this week before a Senate committee considering his nomination to serve as ambassador to Mexico.

"In terms of a guest-work program that is market-driven, that is tied to the realities that you see today, that would protect workers who come to this country, I think there would be generally a lot of agreement around that," Mr. Garza told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.

Mr. Garza added that he was expressing his opinion and not speaking for the Bush administration, which is considering a plan to grant guest-worker status to some of the estimated 3 million illegal Mexican immigrants.

Mr. Garza, a Texas railroad commissioner, is an old friend of Mr. Bush's and an obvious favorite among the Texas legislators.

Sen. Phil Gramm, Texas Republican, said, "I've known Tony Garza for many years and could not be happier that President Bush has selected him for this critical post."

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