|THE KILLING OF AMERICANS IN ISRAEL
by Gary Bauer & Mortan A. Klein
August 01, 2002
|The terrorists who massacred five Americans in the bombing of Hebrew University this week are being sheltered by Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority regime -- and the State Department is refusing to demand that the PA surrender them to the U.S. for prose-cution.
American victims of Palestinian Arab terrorism are the only cases of overseas terrorism against Amercians in which the State Department refuses to make any serious effort to capture the killers.
Thirty-six American citizens have been murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 (and more than one hundred have been killed since the 1960's).
Many of the subjects have been publicly identified by the Israeli government. They are being sheltered by the Palestinian Authority regime, which regards them as heroes. At least five of them have even been rewarded with jobs in the PA's police force.
Incredibly, our State Department has never demanded that Yasir Arafat expel these killers of Americans from his police force. Nor has the administration asked the Palestinian Authority to surrender these killers to the U.S. so that they can face justice in an American court.
After years of protest and pressure, the State Department finally, last year, offered rewards for information leading to the capture
of these killers -- but it refuses to publicize the rewards in Palestinian newspapers or cities, which is what it routinely does in other countries to capture fugitive terrorists. The department's website does not even include the names and photographs of fugitive Palestinian Arab killers of Americans -- even though it publicizes the names and photographs of other terrorists who have killed Americans overseas.
The State Department's record of discrimination on this issue demonstrates that it is permitting its political agenda -- its relations with the Palestinian Authority -- to interfere with pursuit of these killers. It is wrong for political considerations to determine whether or not to take steps to capture Palestinian Arab killers of Americans. Such decisions should be on the basis of how best
to deter terrorism and how to bring killers to justice.
This discrimination must come to an end. Palestinian Arab killers of Americans must be treated the same as all other terrorists
who murder our citizens. And the victims of such terrorism must recieve the same consideration as all other Americans victimized by terrorism. This issue must be taken out of the hands of the State Department and put into the hands of the jurisdiction of the Justice Department.
And Congress has taken the first step in that direction. U.S. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Representatives Rob Andrews
(D-NJ) and Jim Saxion (R-NJ) are the lead sponsors of a new bill, the Koby Mandrell Act (S.1377 / H.R.2098), which would create a special office within the Justice Department to gather evidence against Palestinian Arab killers of Americans; arrange to bring the terrorists to the U.S. for trial; initiate negotiations with the Palestinian Authority for financial compensation for victims' families; and maintain a liaison with the families to update them on efforts to capture the killers.
We need a government office to focus on this neglected problem, just as, two decades ago, it was necessary for Congress to bring about the creation of a special Justice Department unit -- the Office of Special Investigations -- to focus on another neglected problem, the pursuit of Nazi war criminals who were hiding in the United States.
The Koby Mandrell Act (named after 13 year-old Maryland boy murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists last year) has been publicly endorsed by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and AIPAC. A McLaughlin poll has found that 67% of Americans think it is "important" for Palestinian Arab killers of Americans to be brought to trial in the United States.
President Bush said last year that the United States will pursue terrorists "from place to place until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe havens to terrorism." The Koby Mandrell Act creates the means to put those words into action.
|Op-Ed by Gary Bauer, President, American Values and Former Chief Domestic Policy Advisor in the Reagan Administration and Morton A. Klein, National President, Zionist Organization of America August 1, 2002|