WASHINGTON (Mar. 26)
While the United States condemns Israel’s deportation of Palestinians it considers terrorists, Washington is silent about Kuwait’s deportation of far larger numbers of Palestinians since the end of the Persian Gulf war, an Israeli Cabinet minister observed here Tuesday.
“I don’t hear any condemnation of Kuwait” by the United States or the United Nations, Justice Minister Dan Meridor told reporters after addressing the annual national leadership conference of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
Meridor said the Israeli government knew it would be criticized when it ordered four Palestinian terrorists deported from the Gaza Strip over the weekend.
The State Department on Monday urged Israel to rescind the order, calling deportations a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
But Israel “has to do something to stop” the random violence against its citizens, such as the recent series of random stabbings against Jews, Meridor said.
He said Israel is criticized no matter what steps it takes to prevent violence, whether it is deportations, detention of suspected terrorists, curfews or the blowing up of homes that had been occupied by terrorists.
Everybody tells Israel “what not to do,” but nobody says “what to do,” Meridor pointed out.
In his speech to the ADL leadership conference, the Likud minister urged the United States to use the prestige it has reaped from the Persian Gulf conflict to bring the Arab countries into peace negotiations with Israel.
He also urged the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to begin talks with Israel “to try to see if we can live together.” But he said if the Palestinians still look to the Palestine Liberation Organization for representation, “we are back to square one.”
MANNINGS TO BE EXTRADITED
Meridor warned that bold steps toward peace have to be taken soon. “If we wait too long, people will forget who did what and who owes what to whom,” he said.
In another matter, the justice minister told reporters that before leaving Jerusalem he had signed the papers to extradite a U.S.-born couple to the United States to stand trial for the murder of a secretary in California.
Meridor said that it was now up to the Jerusalem District Court to decide whether Robert and Rochelle Manning should be sent back to the United States to be tried in a U.S. federal court. He said the decision could take months.
The Mannings are charged with causing the death of Patricia Wilkerson, a secretary at a computer company in Manhattan Beach, Calif. She was killed when she plugged in what turned out to be an explosive device.
The device was allegedly sent by the Mannings to a Brenda Crouthamel, with whom the Mannings had a business dispute.
The Mannings and their two children live in Kiryat Arba, the Jewish settlement adjacent to the mainly Arab West Bank town of Hebron. Robert Manning is an activist in Kach, the movement founded by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.