New York – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is supporting efforts being made by Representative Tom Lantos, the top Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, to have the $230 million US aid package for Lebanon frozen until the Lebanese government of Fouad Siniora takes control of its borders with Syria and prevents arms smuggling to the Lebanese Islamist terrorist group, Hizballah. Following talks with the Olmert government, Lantos said that â€œthis package should be withheld until the Lebanese government displays responsibility. A porous Syrian-Lebanon border will only invite the repetition of Hizballah attacks in the future. Hizballah must not be allowed to rearm againâ€ (Washington Post, August 27).
ZOA Chairman of the Board Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, â€œThe ZOA is fully supporting Representative Lantosâ€™ efforts because from the beginning Lebanonâ€™s failure to assert proper control of its borders and prevent the traffic in arms and equipment to Hizballah has made it possible for Hizballah to build up a large terrorist army and attack Israel. It is necessary at the very least that this failure not be allowed to continue.
â€œThe ZOA has already drawn attention several times to the support for Hizballah expressed by senior Lebanese government leaders, the failure of Lebanon to stop Hizballah striking Israel and even its assistance to Hizballah in its recent military campaign. Hizballah is on the US terrorism list and, in fact, up until September 11, 2001, had been responsible for the murder of more Americans than any other terrorist group. It is simply wrong that a government that supports a terrorist group, especially one that has killed hundreds of Americans, should be receiving American aid. We urge the Bush Administration to adopt Representative Lantosâ€™ proposal.â€