need to start taking Yasser Arafat's continued terrorism personally. For 30
years he has ordered and condoned the murder of American citizens - including
U.S. diplomats. That killing spree continues even today. Lost in the recent wave
of terrorism in Israel is the fact that two more American citizens were
murdered, and six wounded.
nLee Akunis, a U.S. citizen, was
murdered by Arab terrorists at a checkpoint near Ramallah on Feb. 15. Arafat's
Fatah movement claimed responsibility for the attack. There is no reason to
doubt Fatah's sincerity on this.
nKeren Shatsky, 14, formerly of
Brooklyn, was murdered in the Feb. 15 suicide bombing at a pizzeria in the town
of Karnei Shomron. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a member
of Arafat's PLO, claimed responsibility for the attack. Despite repeated
requests by Israel, Arafat has never outlawed the PFLP nor expelled it from the
nHillel Trattner, of Chicago, and
his wife, Ronit Yucht Trattner, were seriously wounded in the Karnei Shomron
attack and are in critical condition. They were married just a few months ago.
nChani Friedman, of New York, was
wounded in the Karnei Shomron attack.
nRachel Thaler, of Baltimore, and
her brother, Lior, were seriously wounded in the Karnei Shomron attack. Lior
remains in critical condition. Rachel, 16, died of her injuries.
nMoshe Saperstein, of New York, was seriously wounded by Palestinian Arab
terrorists in a drive-by shooting attack near Neve Dekalim Feb. 19. Arafat's
Fatah movement claimed responsibility for the attack. Again, is there any reason
to doubt the group's word?
That's just the very recent toll.
nThirteen Americans have been
murdered, and 38 wounded, since the current Arab violence against Israel began
in September 2000.
n Twenty-five Americans have been
murdered, and 63 wounded, by Palestinian Arab terrorists since the signing of
the Oslo accords in 1993.
nAt least 92 Americans have been
murdered, and 106 wounded, by Palestinian Arab terrorists since 1968.
the most heinous crime against Americans and America perpetrated by Arafat
personally was the kidnapping and machine-gun murder of two U.S. diplomats and a
Belgian diplomat in 1973. As I reported last year - and as others have
confirmed more recently - on March 2, 1973, Yasser Arafat ordered the
cold-blooded, machine-gun murders of U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel and Charges
d'affaires George Curtis in Khartoum, Sudan. This is no longer a matter of
speculation. James J. Welsh, a former National Security Agency operative on
Cyprus at the time, was the recipient of communication intercepts between Arafat
and his Al-Fatah guerrilla leaders.
members of Arafat's Black September organization raided a reception at the Saudi
Arabian embassy in Khartoum Feb. 27, 1973, rounded up a group of diplomats and
held them hostage for days. The kidnappers - operating on the direct orders of
Arafat, says Welsh - demanded the release of Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, the
convicted assassin of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, as well as other Arabs in jails
throughout Europe and Israel.
Nixon refused to negotiate. Arafat's deputy, Abu Iyad, transmitted a message to
the terrorists containing the codeword "Nahr al-Bard" - Cold River.
That, says Welsh, was the signal to kill the Western diplomats - including a
Belgian, Guy Eid. That was 27 years ago, but there is no statute of limitations
on murder. Arafat is still at large.
amount of wishful thinking about Arafat is going to change him. He remains today
what he was in 1973 - a cowardly killer of unarmed American diplomats. America
must never forget its foreign-service personnel murdered in the line of duty. It
must never forget its own citizens when they are traveling abroad. What can we
do about this 30-year pattern of murder?
the Koby Mandell Act, which would create a special office
within the Justice
Department to gather evidence against Palestinian Arab killers of Americans. The
Koby Mandell Act, also known as S.1377 in the Senate and H.R.2098 in the House
of Representatives, is named after Jacob "Koby" Mandell, the
13-year-old boy from Maryland who was murdered by Arab terrorists in Israel last
needs to begin to take these murders seriously - just as we did the attacks on
Sept. 11. We need to cut off all aid to Arafat. We need to declare his
Palestinian Authority an illegal terrorist organization. We need to capture the
terrorists and bring them to the U.S. for trial - or eliminate them where they
stand. We need to demand from Arafat compensation for families of victims. And
we need to let the families know that the effort to seek justice and the capture
or elimination of these terrorists is under way. That's
the least we should do.