TEL AVIV (Sep. 22)
Rehavam Ze’evi, the Israeli Cabinet member who last week brazenly called President Bush an anti-Semite, has strengthened his attack on the American president by accusing Bush of taking actions that could bring about another Holocaust.
Predicating his charges on Bush’s refusal to grant Israel immediate guarantees for $10 billion in loans for immigrant resettlement, Ze’evi told Israel’s army radio that Bush “wants to cause something that will lead to a second Holocaust.”
Given such conditions, Ze’evi said, “I can protest and scream. These are the symptoms of anti-Semitism.”
Ze’evi, who heads Moledet, a small, extreme right-wing faction that believes in transferring Arabs out of the administered territories, accused the American president of wanting “to twist Israel’s arm in regard to our rights over the Land of Israel.”
His latest attack against Bush drew fire from a prominent American Jewish leader who has himself criticized the president for withholding the guarantees.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called the remarks “irresponsible” and urged Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to censure Ze’evi for his latest comments.
“His first outburst was forgivable. His second is not,” said Foxman, who has himself reproached Bush for linking loan guarantees with a freeze on settlement-building in the administered territories.
Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, said that “if Ze’evi sees what is happening now as a prelude to another Holocaust, he has a total misunderstanding of what the Shoah was all about.”
Ze’evi’s latest remarks follow a week of reiterating the comments he first made at last week’s Cabinet meeting, after Bush called for a 120-day moratorium on the loan guarantees.
At that Cabinet meeting, Ze’evi branded Bush an anti-Semite and liar, and repeated those epithets in radio and television interviews.
Ze’evi, who is a minister without portfolio in the Israeli government, has also continuously voiced his opposition to the Middle East peace conference which Bush and the Soviets hope to convene next month. He maintains that such a conference would only be a forum for “humiliations and attacks on Israel.”
According to Ze’evi, a 64-year-old Israel Defense Force reserve major general, there is no chance for peace in the foreseeable future.