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SLUG: 0-09692 Editorial - Arafat and Terrorists






CONTENT=This editorial is being released for use by all services.

Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government:

Voice: Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, said in an essay that he wrote for The New York Times that he condemns "the attacks carried out by terrorist groups against Israeli civilians." And, continued Mr. Arafat, "These groups do not represent the Palestinian people or their legitimate aspirations for freedom. They are terrorist organizations."

Mr. Arafat did not cite by name any of the terrorist groups. They include Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. U-S Secretary of State Colin Powell welcomed Mr. Arafat's public repudiation of terrorism. But words are one thing. It's time for Mr. Arafat to act.

As Secretary of State Powell put it, Yasser Arafat "has to act as a leader and tell [the Palestinians] that violence is wrong, [and] tell them that terrorism is wrong. He has to tell it to them every day." Terrorist groups, like Hamas and Hezbollah, are not just killing innocent Israeli citizens. "They are," said Mr. Powell, "destroying Mr. Arafat's authority and they are destroying a vision of peace for the region."

President George W. Bush, in a speech at the United Nations, said that his vision for Middle East peace includes a Palestinian state called Palestine. "No American president," said Secretary of State Powell, "had ever quite said that in front of an international audience."

The sooner the terrorism ends, the sooner a Palestinian state will become a reality. But so far, as Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser, said, Yasser Arafat "has not done enough, and it's very clear that he can do more to disable the terrorist networks."

A process is in place through which the Palestinians can pursue their aspirations. As U-S national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said, "Chairman Arafat really should get about the business of removing this terrorist threat so that they can get back to the peace negotiations."

Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043.

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