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1/8/03 - TERRORISM IN TEL AVIV - 2003-01-08

Terrorists have struck again in Israel. On January 5th in Tel Aviv, two Palestinian suicide bombers killed about two dozen people and wounded more than one-hundred. The two attacks took place almost simultaneously near a bus station. One terrorist set off a bomb at a bus stop, and the second blew himself up on a crowded pedestrian mall. Several terrorist organizations have claimed responsibility for these heinous acts.

The Palestinian Authority headed by Yasser Arafat condemned the January 5th attacks. As U.S. officials made clear, it is essential for the Palestinian leadership to take every step in its power to end terrorist attacks.

In a White House statement, President George W. Bush called the January 5th suicide bombings “despicable.” Mr. Bush called on all people who seek Middle East peace to join in the effort to stop terror. The U.S., he said, “is determined to continue the global fight against terrorism and against the terrorist organizations that conduct operations such as the murders in Israel.”

Some have wrongly called the suicide bombers “martyrs.” But Islam, like other great religions, prohibits the killing of civilians. Those who encourage murder and suicide in the name of Islam are profaning the religion they claim to support. As President Bush put it in a speech to the United Nations, “a murderer is not a martyr; he is just a murderer.”