- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Christians back Jews

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon defended his country’s pre-emptive strikes against terrorists and the construction of a border fence to stop Palestinian suicide bombers, as he addressed a Christian convention in Virginia this week.

“We will not stand by and wait for the next despicable attack on our civilians. Instead, we will take the fight to the terrorists,” he said at the “Hand ‘n Hand” forum sponsored by Sun Righteousness International.

“We will continue to build our security fence because this is the most effective way to protect our citizens and minimize the harmful effects on the Palestinians. There is no question the security fence has saved hundreds of innocent lives, and, with God’s help, we will someday be able to guarantee security for all the children of Israel.”

Mr. Ayalon praised the Christian audience for their support of Israel at the event hosted by the Rev. Pat Robertson in Norfolk.

He called Mr. Robertson a “true and loyal friend” of Israel.

The ambassador said Christians and Jews are “eternally linked, both in purpose and vision.”

“Our two great religions have a shared destiny,” Mr. Ayalon said. “Just as Israel and America are united in our struggle against terror and united for the spread of democracy and freedom, so, too, Christians and Jews are united.”

Mr. Ayalon invoked the “power of prayer” to support Israel.

“One prayer can change the world. Imagine what millions of our prayers can achieve,” he said.

“So I ask you today, friends and defenders of Israel, to continue to pray for Israel, especially during these difficult times. I urge you to convince your friends and neighbors to pray for Israel and for true and lasting peace.”

Future ‘intifada’

Veteran foreign policy analyst Anthony Cordesman sees little hope of an end to the latest Palestinian uprising, which enters its fifth year next month.

“It is all too possible that the Israeli-Palestinian war will either continue on for months or years and leave both sides sadder but not wiser, or that there will be an awkward and unstable end to open violence without a real peace,” he said in a new study for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Mr. Cordesman said the conflict has developed into low-intensity “asymmetric warfare” in which Israel relies on its traditional military strength while the Palestinians engage in suicide bombings. The report at www.csis.org reviews the causes of the conflict, the relationship between Israeli settlements and Palestinian terrorists and other issues.

Mr. Cordesman, a former top intelligence analyst in the Defense Department, said “asymmetric warfare has replaced the peace process and politics have become an extension of war by other means.”

He held out little hope for an end to the conflict anytime soon.

“If anything, the Israeli-Palestinian war has shown that each step of escalation leads to further asymmetries in tactics, weapons and targeting,” he said. “These asymmetries in turn convince the opposite side that the other’s actions are not only immoral and illegitimate but that it cannot be trusted to move back toward peace.”

Antiguan base lease

The United States this week renewed an Air Force base lease in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and Mary Kramer, U.S. ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean, signed the agreement that commits the United States to continue paying $1.25 million a year until 2008.

The Antigua Air Station, which the United States has leased since the 1960s, is used to help track U.S. space flights from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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