[Congressional Record Volume 143, Number 41 (Wednesday, April 9, 1997)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E601-E603]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[[Page E601]]


                           HON. NEWT GINGRICH

                               of georgia

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, April 9, 1997

  Mr. GINGRICH. Mr. Speaker, the United States has been, and will 
continue to be, committed to seeing real peace in the Middle East 
region. All Americans need to look at the daily events in that region 
with as full an understanding as possible of what is happening and why. 
For that purpose, I enter into the Congressional Record my comments 
yesterday to the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

 Remarks by House Speaker Newt Gingrich to the American Israeli Public 
                           Affairs Committee

       Speaker Gingrich. Thank you very, much for that remarkable 
     welcome. Although I must warn you that one of the dangers of 
     Washington is you sit here and you listen to the kind of 
     introduction that Bubba Mitchell just gave me, is that as 
     you--as it builds, you start to get excited and you get 
     forward to hearing from the person, and then you realize it's 
     yourself, and there's a sort of immediate letdown. So--
       One of the nice things about working with Bubba is that you 
     always end up looking better than you remembered as he 
     explains whatever the role was. But it is--it's great to be 
     here and to have a chance to be with you, and to be with 
     Melvin. And I appreciate very much all the leadership, the 
     team that has come together here. We work very closely with 
     Howard Core (sp). And as I think many of you know, Arne 
     Christenson, who is the speaker's chief of staff, has a long 
     record. Where's Arne? He's down there. Let me also say that 
     it's great to be back--I look out--I don't want to go through 
     a long list of names and start forgetting people. Ed Levy, 
     who first came to me, I think in 1978, and helped us because 
     he saw a commercial on what was then a brand new innovation 
     called the Superstation, and said this is a guy we want to 
     support. Larry Weinberg, who's been a great friend, out in 
     Los Angeles--we were with recently.
       I'm told that Harriet Zimmerman, who really has been, from 
     an Atlanta standpoint, terribly important, had a back problem 
     and is not here. So I hope those of you--I'm going to try to 
     give her a call, but I hope all of you--I saw Herb 
     Schwartzman was with us a few minutes ago. And just so many 
     friends from all over the country who have been part of the 
     extended family. Many of you have heard me say this before, 
     but it bears repeating, particularly for the younger, newer 
     members. AIPAC is extraordinarily vital to all of American 
     foreign policy. You are the--You are the only institution I 
     know of at the grassroots level which in an effective, 
     consistent manner supports the role of America in the entire 
     world, helps members get to learn about the world. 
     Congressman John Linder took a group again in January and 
     began the process of getting them to realize the realities of 
     power, the realities of distance, and the uniquences of 
     Jerusalem and of the Israeli experience of democracy in the 
     Middle Eastern context.
       And so, far from the foreign aid program and American 
     military programs somehow being burdened by our relationship 
     with Israel, I believe it is fair to say, as a congressional 
     leader, that without your hard work and your grassroots 
     effort and your education programs, the entire foreign aid 
     program would dramatically decline. And it is indeed the 
     aid to the rest of the world which rides on the back of 
     the work you do, and not the aid to Israel which in any 
     way affects what we do around the world.
       So what you're doing strengthens America by educating 
     members of Congress into the importance of our international 
     role and into the importance of leadership, and into the 
     principles that are at the heart of the survival of freedom.
       And that's what I want to talk about today, because we need 
     a principled debate over honesty versus appeasement, over a 
     willingness to tell the truth versus a consistent and 
     deliberate slanting, over keeping your word versus breaking 
     your word and then simply moving on with the new demand. And 
     I think the debate is that simple.
       There are military threats and intelligence threats, and I 
     want to talk about them briefly. But I think there's a much 
     deeper threat facing Israel today, and I want to spend more 
     time on that topic. Let me talk first, though, briefly about 
     the military threat.
       We have an absolute obligation to our young men and women 
     in uniform and to our allies around the world to provide the 
     best defense that science and engineering can develop. And we 
     must not allow lawyers and diplomats to cripple our missile 
     defense by setting phony standards based on a phony deal. 
     This is exactly what happened in the '20s and '30s in the 
     Pacific when we signed agreements with the Japanese which 
     they violated while we kept them. It's exactly what happened 
     in Europe where the Allies signed agreements which the 
     Germans broke while the Allies kept them. And I don't want to 
     lose a city, I don't want to lose a single soldier, sailor, 
     airman or airwoman or Marine because we relied on lawyers and 
     diplomats when, in fact, our engineers and scientists could 
     have gotten the job done.
       I also think it is tremendously important to look at the 
     recent Helsinki agreement and understand how dangerous it is 
     because we don't live in a world where the most likely threat 
     is Boris Yeltsin's government. Now, you don't have to suggest 
     that diplomacy is an inadequate protector when you look at 
     how shaky that government is.
       But forget Russia. Assume Russia didn't exist. An agreement 
     that says the Russians won't threaten us is irrelevant if the 
     largest threat on the planet's from Iran. Now, I don't want 
     some legalese by a bunch of diplomats and lawyers, with 
     Russians, preventing us from providing over Tel Aviv or 
     providing over an American air base, or providing over an 
     American expeditionary force, the finest technology that 
     science and engineering can develop. We can defeat Iranian 
     missiles if we allow our scientists and engineers to our job 
     and if we work with the Arrow Program and Israel; and if 
     we pay attention to capability, not promises.
       I also believe we have to be honest about terrorism. 
     Terrorism is not impossible to defeat, but it requires a 
     couple of things. It requires a bigger investment in human 
     intelligence. It requires a commitment to placing people for 
     a very long periods of time in very dangerous areas. It 
     requires a deep commitment to keep secrets in the United 
     States so people don't get killed because they're risking 
     their lives to penetrate terrorist organizations while people 
     back here babble. It requires principles that say, ``If 
     you're a terrorist, you should not expect to live very 
     long.'' It requires a commitment to preemptive strikes when 
     we deem them appropriate, to avoid weapons of mass 
     destruction. And it requires a willingness to focus energy 
     and resources on weak states, like Sudan, as a warning to 
     stronger states not to mess with the forces of democracy and 
       Ronald Reagan understood the power of strength to multiply 
     itself, which is why, when the United States Navy shot down 
     two Libyan aircraft, the United States's sense of being 
     insecure disappeared. And across the planet, people began to 
     back off and realized we were determined. And we have to be 
     prepared to use our strength, not just talk about it. And we 
     need to be prepared to say, ``No state terrorism will go 
     unpunished on this planet, and we will take on those states 
     that use terrorism as a tool.''
       Look, I take the military threat seriously. And most years, 
     I would have come and focused on that. But I really want to 
     break some new ground here today intellectually and talk 
     about something which, interestingly, I mentioned first at 
     the Foreign Diplomat School in Beijing a week ago, and that's 
     the concept of information warfare and information diplomacy 
     as the necessary new tools of the 21st century.
       Now, many of you have read or seen things about information 
     warfare, which all too often is defined by the military too 
     narrowly in terms of computer systems and all that stuff.
       I originally began working on information warfare in the 
     early 1980s, based on the concept that with CNN in every 
     living room on the planet in real time, you could lose the 
     war on television, even if you won it on the battlefield. And 
     the great challenge we face is that Arafat and the forces of 
     terrorism are in a coalition, engaged in an information 
     warfare campaign against Israel, a campaign in which the 
     American news media is serving as the witting or unwitting 
     ally of Arafat.
       And if you want to see how successful--and I think this is, 
     frankly, the fault of the Israeli government and the American 
     government for not recognizing with  sufficient intellectual 
     rigor the new nature of the world in the information age. 
     And I do not mean that as an attack on either President 
     Clinton or Prime Minister Netanyahu, but I mean it as an 
     institutional criticism of all of us. We are now in a 
     world where our opponents plan long campaigns, campaigns 
     that are vicious, dishonest and that exploit our 
     vulnerabilities. We react to each incident. So something 
     happens which they've thought through and moves the game a 
     half-step their way, and we react only momentarily, then 
     we forget. Then something happens and we react, and then 
     something happens. And it's definition creep.
       Consider the difference--you know, Marianne and I were in 
     Israel weeks before the signing of the Oslo Accords. And 
     while the secret agreement in Oslo took the world by 
     surprise, in the weeks before it occurred there was a genuine 
     sense of hope, a seed that something might happen.

[[Page E602]]

       Israel stood in a strong position in the region. Iraq had 
     been shattered militarily by the Americans and the coalition 
     forces. Syria, Israel's foe to the north, had lost its 
     patron, the Soviet Union. While terrorists continued to 
     operate out of Syria's vassal's state, Lebanon, Jordan seemed 
     poised for a closer relationship with Israel. And the hope 
     for progress, if not a breakthrough, with the Palestinians 
     seemed very real.
       Several weeks later, the Oslo Accords were announced to the 
     world, and the ceremony on the White House lawn seemed to 
     foreshadow a new era of hope and peace. I remember being in a 
     meeting with Arafat in the Capitol and thinking maybe this 
     truly is a breakthrough, maybe something real will happen. I 
     stand before you today at a far more somber time. Today 
     Israel is not enduring a cold peace. Israel is enduring war 
     by other means. And that's what we're faced with.
       And it's important to understand exactly what is happening 
     in the Middle East. Israel's enemies in the region are 
     attempting to achieve through terror and coordinated 
     propaganda what their armies could not achieve in battle--the 
     defeat of Israel. Their active accomplice in this campaign is 
     Israel's so-called ``partner'' in the peace process, Yasser 
     Arafat. What Arafat has failed to live up to is clear. More 
     than three years after Oslo, he still has not fulfilled his 
     promise to amend the PLO Chapter and remove its call for the 
     destruction of Israel.
       And let me emphasize this for a second. How can you have a 
     partner, who three years after the beginning of the 
     partnership is still calling for your destruction? How can 
     you treat seriously, how can the American government claim 
     any possible sense of moral equality between a genuine 
     democracy seeking peace at the risk of lives of its citizens, 
     and a force which after three years has refused to renounce 
     the destruction of Israel?
       Arafat's most recent excuse, in a long career of excuses, 
     is that Israel doesn't have a written Constitution. And, of 
     course, neither does Great Britain. But that's not the point. 
     Presumably, Arafat knew that before he signed the Oslo 
     Accord. The fact is, we should not tolerate his making 
     excuses. We should demand he keep his word, which he gave in 
     Oslo three years ago.
       But far more damaging than words have been actions. It is 
     clear that Arafat has been unwilling to control terror. In 
     the 3\1/2\ years since Oslo, over 230 Israelis have been 
     killed in terrorist attacks, including the recent bombing of 
     a Tel Aviv cafe that killed four Israelis and wounded 42. And 
     notice the total lack of symmetry. Israel builds housing on 
     empty land. Terrorists kill Israelis. Israel is to blame. A 
     total lack of balance, a total lack of symmetry. And Arafat's 
     involvement and responsibility in tolerating the existence of 
     terrorism is clear. Far from just failing to act decisively 
     in stopping terrorism, Arafat's recent actions have amounted 
     to a green light for those who would kill and maim innocent 
     civilians to achieve their political aims.
       On March 7th, Arafat met with representatives of Hamas and 
     three other radical groups that reject the peace process. Now 
     remember, the people who accept the peace process have not 
     given up their claim to destroy Israel, but the people who 
     don't even like the peace process while destroying Israel are 
     the ones we're talking about. These are the harder line of 
     the hard line. Because it's important not to kid yourselves. 
     There is at the present time no visible evidence of any 
     serious commitment to a true peace in which Israel lives in 
     peace and security and freedom in the region.
       But here's what Arafat did. On March 10th, having met three 
     days earlier with leaders of Hamas, he released from prison 
     the head of Hamas military wing--the exact opposite of what 
     he should have been doing. The number one goal of the 
     Palestinians should have been to end the terrorism so Israel 
     could negotiate in security and comfort that it had a 
     neighbor that cared about its lives, and Arafat has taken the 
     opposite position. As tensions rose throughout March, Arafat 
     did not use his public statements or his security forces to 
     diminish the threat. Instead, he sinisterly raised the 
     possibility of spontaneous outbreaks of terror that might 
     occur if Israel did not change its policies. On March 21, a 
     Tel Aviv cafe experienced such a spontaneous outbreak of 
     violence. When the smoke cleared, four Israelis were dead, 42 
       And what is the latest so-called ``provocation'' of which 
     Israel is guilty? What has it done to make it responsible for 
     the most recent spate of terrorism? Israel has begun the 
     construction of a housing development on a barren hilltop in 
     Jerusalem, situated between two existing Jewish 
     neighborhoods. Israel is guilty of building on land owned by 
     Jews within the boundaries of the city that every Israeli 
     government, and the Congress of the United States, has 
     recognized as Israel's eternal, undivided capital.
       Let me be clear: Har Homa is not, as the media attempt to 
     insist, a ``settlement.'' It is a Jewish neighborhood in the 
     city Israel has chosen as her capital. And let me say, I hope 
     that no official of the American government, at any level, 
     anywhere uses the term ``settlement'' to describe a 
     legitimate housing development of the people of Israel. While 
     Arafat ignores his commitments to change the PLO Charter and 
     control terrorism, Israel is flogged in the international 
     community for not making unilateral concessions beyond the 
     demands of the Oslo Accord. As the columnist Saul Singer has 
     said, ``Israel is being asked to unilaterally abide by Oslo-
     Plus, while the Palestinians feel free to act as if they had 
     signed Oslo-Minus.'' That is wrong, and we should reject that 
     formulation. Every friend of Israel must recognize that her 
     future does not rest solely on military preparedness and 
     diplomatic toughness. It rests on how Israel and her friends 
     combat a focused, coordinated campaign of propaganda to 
     vilify Israel in the international community and through the 
     worldwide media. When the American news media shows a rioting 
     crowd and attributes the violence to Israel's decision on Har 
     Homa, they undermine Israel's security.
       When the American news media misrepresents the facts, 
     speaking of Har Homa as a Jewish settlement in, quote, ``Arab 
     East Jerusalem,'' they undermine Israel's security.
       And let me note that Charles Krauthammer, two weeks ago, 
     wrote the definitive column on the falsehoods that I saw as 
     recently as yesterday on the American television networks as 
     they talked once again about ``Arab East Jerusalem'' which is 
     false and should be opposed and complained about every single 
     time it is used.
       And frankly, when the Clinton-Gore administration treats 
     with moral equivalence Palestinian violence and Israeli 
     housing, they undermine Israel's security. There should be no 
     question of any pressure on the Israeli government to make 
     any concessions until Arafat has met the demands of 3\1/2\ 
     years ago in Oslo, and the burden should be placed by the 
     American government on Arafat and the Palestinian Authority 
     to keep the word they already gave 3\1/2\ years ago before a 
     word is said to Israel.
       Let me try to formulate this as clearly as I can for a 
     minute, because I think this--I think this is--no, there's 
     core principle here that we have forgotten, that Ronald 
     Reagan understood brilliantly because he had learned it from 
     Winston Churchill. It is extraordinarily dangerous to confuse 
     the aggressor and the victim. It is extraordinarily 
     dangerous to confuse the terrorist and the democracy. It 
     is extraordinarily dangerous to always impose the burden 
     on those who are your friends because you're too timid to 
     tell the truth to those who are your enemies.
       Ever since Beirut, the press has been increasingly willing 
     to cover Israel with a bias and on a one-sided manner. We 
     can't afford 10 more years of systematic misinformation in 
     which somehow the Palestinians are always innocent, they are 
     always totally free of guilt, they're always trying hard, 
     their weakness becomes the excuse for their failure, their 
     inability to deliver is proof of why they need further 
     assistance, their willingness to scream loudly is proof of 
     why they need to be pacified, and nothing is demanded of 
       While Israel, an open society with a free political system 
     and honest elections, is somehow gradually drug into the mud 
     so that any legitimate domestic activity of a free people 
     becomes attackable, while any secret, sinister terrorism of a 
     people who live in fear becomes defendable. And that's what 
     is happening in the world today, and this is, I believe, the 
     most desperate moment for Israel since Yom Kipper in 1973.
       I think there are three principles that we need to impose. 
     First, never allow a wedge to be driven between the United 
     States and Israel. (Cheers, applause.) Second, hold Yasser 
     Arafat to his promises. And third, take an active role in 
     combating the false images of Israel in the press. Let me--. 
     Let me very briefly explain what I mean.
       First of all, we should never allow a wedge to be driven 
     between the two democracies. And we certainly should not 
     allow that wedge to be driven by those who condone and 
     sustain terrorism.
       Now, I was very dissappointed--and we sent a letter 
     expressing in advance our disappointment--that the United 
     States would attend a conference convened by Yasser Arafat in 
     March in Gaza, a conference that explicitly excluded Israel. 
     I hope this administration will make clear that it will never 
     again, ever attend a one-sided, anti-Israeli conference to 
     the exclusion of Israel. If Israel can't be in the room, why 
     should America walk in and teach the Arab world that they 
     don't need to deal with Israel?
       You know, last year we--last Congress we passed the 
     legislation to move our embassy to Jerusalem. And certainly, 
     one of the most moving moments, I think of my entire life, 
     was the ceremony we had in the Rotunda at which Prime 
     Minister Rabin--it was the last time I saw him--celebrated 
     the 3000th anniversary of the founding of Jerusalem by King 
     David. And you had the sense there that you were touching 
     history in the deepest and most real sense. And if you've 
     never read his speech that day, I would really commend it to 
     you. It made the loss of his assassination much deeper and 
     much more painful. I think it's important that the United 
     States simply and unequivocally, as we have in the 
     Congress, that we recognize the undivided unity of 
     Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, period, and end all 
     this, I think fantasy on the part of the Palestinians that 
     if only they make enough noise and have enough terrorism, 
     somehow they will win diplomatically what they lost 
     militarily. And I think we need to end any question of 
     that and say within that framework of your accepting the 
     existence of Israel and the unity of Jerusalem, peace can 
     be found. But without those two steps, there can't in the 
     long run be peace in the region.
       Next week I will introduce a resolution with Dick Gephardt 
     to recognize the 30th anniversary of the unification of 
     Jerusalem. The message of the resolution is clear: The

[[Page E603]]

     United States Congress believes in one Jerusalem never again 
     divided. It is the united capital of Israel.
       While remaining unified with our democratic partner, we 
     need to hold Yasser Arafat to his promises. The United States 
     must force Arafat to choose. He must choose honest 
     involvement in the peace process or clear hostility with the 
     United States of America. The United States House will do its 
     part. Congressman Jon Fox has informed me that he is drafting 
     a resolution calling upon Arafat to keep his commitments now 
     with no more excuses.
       Finally, I urge every one of you, and all of your friends, 
     to become a watchdog in the information warfare that is 
     undermining Israel. Every time you see an article that refers 
     to ``settlements,'' write a letter to the editor. If you know 
     the publisher, call them. If you know the editor, call them. 
     If you don't know the reporter, get to know them by calling 
     them. Every time you hear--you look at ``Arab East 
     Jerusalem,'' pick up the phone and call. We must become 
     militant in defeating the effort by media to defeat that 
     which cannot be defeated militarily, and that is precisely 
     what the Palestinians are trying to do today, is to use the 
     military to gain--the media to gain what they could never 
     gain on the battlefield. And it takes the vigilance of 
     individual Americans to stand up to that kind of pressure. 
     And I believe it would take six months or a year and you 
     would never again see those phrases, you would never again 
     see that kind of bias, and we would have reeducated the 
     American news media.
       You know, this is a challenging period, but it's not a 
     hopeless period. I had the opportunity about 10 days ago to 
     be with the young men and women of the 2nd Infantry Division 
     of the border with North Korea. My dad served in the Korean 
     War. He was a career infantryman; spent 27 years in the Army. 
     It was a marvelous thing at 6:30 in the morning to be with 
     young men and women willing to risk their lives for freedom. 
     It was an amazing thing to realize that 20 miles away, the 13 
     million people of Seoul, Korea were getting up in the 
     morning, creating wealth, living prosperous lives, with a 
     free-press, chaotic, wide-open political system and all the 
     values that, frankly, are what we're really about.
       Similarly, all of you who have ever visited Israel, who 
     have ever seen units of the Israeli defense forces, who have 
     ever talked to the young men and women, or as you get as old 
     as I am, you talk to the older men and women who tell you 
     about when they were younger men and women. We can win the 
     information struggle just as decisively as we have in the 
     past won military struggles, if we will engage as civilian 
     warriors, if you will, as information warriors. If we will be 
     prepared to be militant and direct and clear, I believe in a 
     year we will be in a different environment. The burden will 
     clearly be on those it should be on: on Egypt to provide a 
     positive, legitimate leadership role in favor of peace, 
     instead of, frankly, the current terribly unsatisfactory role 
     Egypt has chosen; on Arafat to have kept his word to lock up 
     the terrorists, to police the area; on all of us who believe 
     in decency to bring pressure to bear on Syria to get to a 
     peaceful Lebanon and to get to a reasonable relationship. We 
     don't have to fear. The coalition that defeated the Soviet 
     empire, ended the Cold War and liberated a third of the 
     planet is more than capable of sustaining democracy and 
     freedom and achieving security. But we have to be prepared 
     and we have to be willing to tell the truth, to insist on the 
     truth, and to go nose-to-nose with any who by their 
     propaganda and their disinformation would threaten the 
     survival of our closest ally in the region and would threaten 
     the survival of millions of decent people who ask only that 
     they be allowed to pursue happiness, live in freedom, and 
     have their children grow up in security.
       Thank you. Good luck, and God bless you.