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ADC Denounces Reported Plans for Israel to Kill or Expel Palestinian President Arafat

Washington, DC, Sept. 11 — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
(ADC) today denounced widespread calls in Israel for the murder or expulsion of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, and urged the Bush Administration to do everything in its power to prevent the Israeli government from taking any such actions. Numerous press reports suggest that the Israeli cabinet today decided in principle to expel Arafat and the AP reports that, “the ministers ordered the army to come up with a plan to remove the Palestinian leader.” The Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot quoted Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz as “telling members of his inner circle that expelling Arafat was the least Israel should do, and that killing the Palestinian leader should be considered.” In its editorial today entitled “Enough is enough,” the Jerusalem Post forcefully called for the murder of President Arafat, stating that, “we must kill Yasser Arafat, because the world leaves us no alternative.”
ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said, “These calls to murder or expel President Arafat constitute incitement of the worst kind. As the Occupying Power, Israel has no right to expel any Palestinian from his or her own country. Worse yet, reports that the Sharon government might consider extending its policy of political assassinations to the elected President of the Palestinian people are deeply disturbing. The obvious effect of either the expulsion or killing of Yasser Arafat by Israeli occupation forces would be an enormous escalation in the conflict. The ultimate consequence could be the demise of the Palestinian Authority as a viable institution, which would be another major obstacle to restarting serious negotiations towards peace.”
Former Congresswoman Oakar added, “we are glad to note the strong opposition to reported plans to expel President Arafat articulated today by a number of Administration officials, including Secretary of State Colin Powell. We hope that the President and others make every effort to ensure that Israel gets the message and is dissuaded from making a disastrous mistake of this kind.”