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Published on Wednesday, April 3, 2002
 
Ari the Evader by Russell Mokhiber...
 
Ari & I
White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer
 
 
Wednesday, April 3, 2002 12:45 PM
 
 
by Russell Mokhiber
 
     
  Mokhiber: The other day, when you were asked why you don't condemn Israeli killing of innocent Palestinians -- as terrorism, why the President doesn't condemn it as terrorism -- you said, well when a Palestinian blows himself up in a cafeteria, he's intending to kill innocents. But as for Israel, "there are times when in military operations, innocent lives are lost."

A number of human rights groups, including B'Teselem, have documented how Israel targets Palestinian civilians.

Most recently, a 21-year Palestinian American, Suraida Saleh, on Friday, was shot down (dead) in Ramallah. She was, by the way, born a couple of blocks from here at GW hospital. She was a passenger in a car. Her husband was driving. Her husband is a journalist. A group of Israeli undercover agents, dressed as Arabs -- they're called Mustarabeem -- were at the intersection, and just opened fire on the car. If that fact pattern is correct, why doesn't the President condemn that as terrorism.

Ari Fleischer: The President has repeatedly stated his concern about the impact of violence upon all people in the region. He has repeatedly stated his concern about the plight of the Palestinian people. It is one of the reasons he is so dedicated to finding a way to reduce the violence, if not to be able to stop it altogether. There is violence on all sides. There is Palestinian against Palestinian violence. There is taking of lives. There is loss of lives by innocents. This is why a cease-fire and then progress on the political front is so essential, in the President's opinion.

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-Thanks to Russell Mokhiber

White House reporter Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter - www.corporatecrimereporter.com. He co-authors the weekly Focus on the Corporation column with Robert Weissman which Common Dreams publishes. He can be reached at: russell@nationalpress.com

 

 
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