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Sunday, February 22, 2004
US JEWISH LEADERS ARE EYE-WITNESSES TO TERROR CARNAGE

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
22 February 2004

US JEWISH LEADERS ARE EYE-WITNESSES TO TERROR CARNAGE

James S. Tisch: "The Justices at the Hague should see what we saw"

(JERUSALEM, ISRAEL)- The leadership of the Conference of Presidents of Major
American Jewish Organizations witnessed the carnage of this morning's terror
attack in Jerusalem. The Conference's annual leadership mission to Israel is
currently taking place in the Inbal Hotel, 100 meters from the site where a
terrorist blew up the No. 14 bus this morning, killing and injuring over 60
civilians. Conference delegates were in the middle of a briefing by IDF
Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon when the earth-shaking boom occurred.

The Conference leaders went to the site of the attack. Conference Executive
Vice Chair, Malcolm Hoenlein commented that "seeing such evil up close is a
horrifying experience. It reminds us that anybody can be a victim of terror
at any time and everyone must join in fighting terrorism."

James S. Tisch, Conference Chairman stated that "it is a shame that the
Justices in The Hague weren't here today to see what we saw. They should
come and visit the wounded in hospitals, the families that were shattered
and the lives devastated by the attack."

As the hearings on Israel's security fence at the International Court of
Justice in The Hague commence Monday morning, Hoenlein said, "the bombing
underscored obscenity of the hearings in The Hague," adding that today's
events "underscore the right, responsibility and obligation of Israel to
build the security fence and take the steps to protect its citizens. It is
beyond belief that people can question the legitimacy of building a fence to
stop suicide bombers which has proven to be effective. It is Arafat and his
associates responsible for the killer bomber who should be brought to
justice at the international court of justice, not those who build fences to
save lives."

The leaders said, "the war on terrorism must be fought in absolute terms. We
see the response to accommodating, compromising or capitulating to terrorism
is more terrorism. Arafat's response to his propaganda victory in the Hague
is today's attack."

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is the
central coordinating body representing 53 national Jewish organizations on
issues of national and international concern.

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