Dear Madeleine Albright, Israel is not “Overdoing It”
Like many former government officials, Mrs. Albright, who is now a professor at Georgetown University, keeps showing up in the media as a foreign affairs expert. Unfortunately, she's doing it at Israel's expense. Interviewed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on July 22, Albright paid lip-service to Israel's right to self-defense, but then got to her main point, accusing Israel of “overdoing it” in Gaza. She said Israel's anti-terrorism actions are “disproportionate” and claimed Israel has lost its “moral authority.”
This is the same Madeleine Albright who was asked by Lesley Stahl on “Sixty Minutes,” on May 12, 1996, if international sanctions against Iraq were worth it, since “we have heard that half a million [Iraqi] children have died.” Albright replied: “We think the price is worth it.” So much for proportionality!
This is the same Madeleine Albright who helped bring about NATO air strikes on Yugoslavia in the Kosovo war in the spring of 1999, killing more than 2,000 people. So much for “overdoing it”!
This is the same Madeleine Albright who worked overtime to sell Yasir Arafat to the world as a peacemaker. Few of us will ever forget the incredible events of October 4, 2000, when Albright, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Arafat were meeting at the residence of the U.S. ambassador in Paris. Arafat had one of his usual tantrums and stormed out of the meeting. Albright went running down the hall after him, stumbling in her high heels, and shouting to the guards, “Shut the gates! Shut the gates!” in the hope of blocking Arafat's car from leaving. A Palestinian negotiator happened to be in the hallway, speaking on the phone to a Reuters correspondent, just as the chase and shouting erupted. The Reuters reporter overheard what happened and broke the story.
Less than 15 months later, Israel intercepted a ship carrying 50 tons of weapons that Arafat was trying to smuggle into Gaza. His image as a “moderate” was blown forever. But Albright has never once acknowledged she was wrong about Arafat.
I've had my own share of unfortunate experiences with Mrs. Albright.
Several years after my daughter, Alisa, was murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists, the Israeli government identified, by name, several of the suspects involved in the attack. I repeatedly asked Secretary Albright's State Department to post a reward for information leading to the capture of the killers. They eventually caved in to public pressure, but at the first opportunity pulled back on the rewards program. Today, the U.S. government's “Rewards for Justice” web site makes no mention of Alisa or any other murdered Americans, and there is no reward to help capture their murderers.
Meanwhile, my family and I sued the government of Iran for sponsoring the group that carried out the attack (Islamic Jihad). The courts ruled in our favor. Other victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism won similar lawsuits. We tried to collect the judgments that the courts awarded from Iranian assets that were frozen in the United States. But Secretary Albright fought us tooth and nail.
The Clinton administration was hoping to renew relations with Iran, so it didn't want a penny of the terror-sponsors' money being touched. Albright also initiated various steps to ease sanctions on Teheran, such as lifting the ban on U.S. imports of Iranian carpets, pistachio nuts and caviar. Appeasing the Iranians and improving their economy was more important than justice for the many Americans killed by Iranian-sponsored terror groups.
Now, all these years later, Albright continues to show more concern for Palestinian terrorists and their Iranian sponsors than for their Israeli and American victims.
If Albright has her way, Israel will cease firing, Hamas will be free to rebuild its terror state, and the Iranians will continue to win again. It's Albright, not Israel, who has lost her “moral authority.”
(Mr. Flatow, a New Jersey attorney, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 1995.)