Calls those who believe Hamas can govern responsibly guilty of "thinking irrationally" B'nai B'rith International has condemned today’s terror bombing at a falafel restaurant in Tel Aviv in which at least six were killed, not including the bomber, and at least 75 were wounded - 15 of them seriously.
Responding to media reports that the new Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) government called the bombing a legitimate response to Israeli "aggression," B'nai B'rith International President Joel S. Kaplan charged, "Anyone who thinks that Hamas is willing to change - or that it is even capable of changing - or who believes that Hamas understands the responsibilities inherent in governing, is simply thinking irrationally."
"Our hearts go out to the families of those murdered," Kaplan continued, "and we hope and pray for a full and speedy recovery for those wounded."
B'nai B'rith Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin, in Israel for the Passover holiday, joined in condemning the attack and expressed confidence in the Olmert government’s ability to take speedy, and appropriate, action to both punish those responsible and protect Israel from further attacks.
Kaplan and Mariaschin welcomed the response of PA president Mahmoud Abbas who today issued a statement soundly condemning the terror attack and recognized that it harmed Palestinian interests.
Looking at long-term prospects for peace in the Middle East, Kaplan observed, "As long as the Palestinian people choose to be governed by leaders who embrace and legitimize terror, prospects for any peace in the region are nonexistent."
With members throughout the United States and more than 50 countries worldwide, B’nai B’rith International is a national and global leader in the area of international affairs, domestic policy, senior services, and Jewish identity. As the oldest and most widely known and respected Jewish organization, B’nai B’rith advocates for Jewish unity, security, and continuity in the United States and worldwide.
The B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) is the human rights arm of B'nai B'rith Australia/New Zealand and is dedicated to combating antisemitism and all forms of racism.
Chairman: Dr Paul Gardner
Executive Officer: Mr Manny Waks
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ADC Board of Advisers:
The Rt Hon Sir Zelman Cowen AK GCMG GCVO QC DCL (president),
Sir William Deane AC KBE
The Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH,
The Hon RJL Hawke AC,
Professor Lowitja O'Donoghue AC CBE,
The Rt Hon Sir Ninian Stephen KG AK GCMG GCVO KBE,
Emeritus Professor Louis Waller AO,
The Hon Neville Wran AC QC