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In Support of Israel in the Face of Terrorism

Speech Delivered by House Majority Leader Dick Armey
April 15, 2002
Reprinted from MSNBC

Dick Armey @ Pro-Israeli RallyI'm here to say that America must stand solidly beside Israel in our common fight against terrorism.

Now, I'm from Texas. And in Texas, we have a reputation for straight talking. We don't believe in ambiguity. We believe in clarity.

So let me make this as clear as I possibly can: A deliberate attack on innocent civilians is terrorism. It is terrorism when it happens in New York City. It is terrorism when it happens at the Pentagon across the river. It is terrorism when it happens in the skies over Pennsylvania. And it is terrorism when it happens in the heart of Jerusalem.

And let me also say this: If a person deliberately attacks innocent civilians, or if he actively supports deliberate attacks on innocent civilians, then he is by definition a terrorist -- and he is a terrorist whether he is operating in Afghanistan, hiding in Pakistan, or training homicide bombers in the West Bank.

We reject any theory of "moral equivalence" that:

  • Would compare a homicide bomber with her victim...

  • That confuses an act of terror with an act of self defense...

  • That can't distinguish between a democratically elected government trying to protect its people-and corrupt, self-appointed regime that rules by gunpoint and stands ready to use any means to achieve its ends.

And let me be clear about one more thing: Israel is a democracy. In fact, it is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East today. It is also a good friend of the United States-one of the best friends we will ever have.

We know that if Israel were to succumb to the tactic of the homicide bomber, then that same tactic will be turned against democracies around the world. It will be used against us again--just as it was on September 11. And it is for all these reasons that the United States stands with Israel as we fight together against terrorism.

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