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Governors of 50 States Sign Letter Backing Israel, Praising Restraint

The nation’s governors have expressed continuing support and concern for the people of Israel in the face of the ongoing threat of Iraqi missile attacks against the Jewish state.

At a ceremony Monday at the Israeli Embassy here, eight of the governors, four Democrats and four Republicans, presented Israeli Ambassador Zalman Shoval with a letter of support signed by all 50 governors.

The letter was drafted by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, who circulated it for signatures during the winter session of the National Governors Association here.

Branstad initiated the letter at the suggestion of the Jewish Community Relations Commission of Iowa in Des Moines, according to Mark Solomon, the commission’s executive director.

The letter condemned the Iraqi missile attacks on Israel’s civilian population and added: “We commend the way in which your government has handled the situation, as well as the exceptional restraint with which it has reacted to those horrendous attacks.”

Both the Senate and House have passed resolutions condemning Iraq for its Scud attacks and praising Israel for its restraint.

Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) now wants the United Nations to join in the praise of Israel. He has sent a letter to Thomas Pickering, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, urging that the United States take the lead in pressing for a resolution commending Israel’s restraint.

While the United Nations has frequently condemned Israel, it has never passed a resolution praising Israel, Schumer told Pickering.

“The time has come for the United Nations to follow Congress’ lead by rallying the world’s support for Israel’s remarkable courage,” Schumer wrote. “Never before has a nation suffered a direct attack on its people and refrained from responding in the interest of world peace.”

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