SAN DIEGO, Calif., (Jul. 26)
Theodore Mann, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, today assailed State Department spokesman Hodding Carter for his “moral blind spot” on Israel and terrorism. Mann, who addressed the 84th national conference of the Jewish War Veterans here, was referring to the statement by Carter on Monday in which he said the U.S. “strongly condemns Israel’s air attacks up and down the Lebanese coast on Sunday” and added that “we had hoped that these raids which take such a toll in human life will not be repeated.” Israel said it had hit terrorist concentrations.
Mann, in taking issue with Carter, declared: “The equation of Israel’s attempt to wipe out terrorism with terrorism itself, is a moral outrage. If Israel stopped its raids on PLO strongholds, the bloodshed would not stop. The death of innocent civilians is an inevitable and tragic consequence of war. But it is the PLO who has declared war on Israeli citizens, and only on civilians since the PLO’s inception 15 years ago.”
Mann also criticized the United Nations and world leaders who seek accommodation with the PLO. “Every time the PLO is honored by the UN, it is strengthened. Every time European leaders pay, homage to the PLO, and every time an American Ambassador to the UN hints that America ought to have ways of relating to the PLO, the PLO is strengthened and terrorism is strengthened.” Concluding, Mann said, “Israel, I have no doubt, will continue to pursue its PLO terrorists wherever they may be, until they have foresworn terror.”