During a visit to Israel marking the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the Jewish state, U.S. President George Bush said the fight against terror and extremism is the defining challenge of the twenty-first century:
"It is a clash of visions, a great ideological struggle. On the one side are those who defend the ideals of justice and dignity with the power of reason and truth. On the other side are those who pursue a narrow vision of cruelty and control by committing murder, inciting fear and spreading lies."
"The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men," said Mr. Bush:
"They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis."
That is why, said Mr. Bush, the founding charter of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas calls for the elimination of Israel. And that is why, he said, the Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, chants "Death to Israel, Death to America."
The United States, said Mr. Bush, stands with Israel in breaking up terrorist networks, and in firmly opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions:
"Permitting the world’s leading sponsor of terror to possess the world’s deadliest weapons would be an unforgivable betrayal for future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."
Ultimately, to prevail in the struggle against terror, the U.S. and its allies "must offer an alternative to the ideology of the extremists by extending our vision of justice and tolerance and freedom and hope," said Mr. Bush. "Leaders who are accountable to their people will not pursue endless confrontation and bloodshed. ... We must stand with the reformers working to break the old patterns of tyranny and despair. We must give voice to the millions of ordinary people who dream of a better life in a free society."