Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Knesset Speaker Rivlin's New Year's Card: Fight Terror Before It's Too Late

( Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin has sent New Year's greetings to 217 heads of parliament around the world, urging them to unite in fighting terrorism before it is too late.

Rivlin called upon parliamentary heads to wake up and not to show any hesitation in the fight against global terror. "Terror organizations pose a threat not just to Israel, but to world order," Rivlin declared. "These groups want to force dangerous and anti-democratic ideologies on all nations, and constitute a serious danger to the world of free and open societies."

He also expressed concern for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, and chastised the world for looking on idly as Shalit was denied his rights as a prisoner.

"As I write these lines, we still lack certainty as to the fate of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, Over three years have passed since Gilad was kidnapped in Israeli territory by Hamas terrorists, and from that very day, Gilad has not had even one chance to meet with someone other than his kidnappers."

Rivlin referred to Hamas' adamant refusal to allow Shalit to be visited by Red Cross or any other humanitarian workers, a denial of his basic human rights.

"No representative of International Red Cross, the United Nations, or any other international organization has been allowed to visit Gilad or provide an objective assessment of his condition, The fate of Gilad is first and foremost a humanitarian issue, but at the same time reflects the impossible situation in which the State of Israel finds itself."

"Iran insists on developing its nuclear weapons, and at the same time finances and arms terror organizations like Hamas in Gaza or Hizbullah in Lebanon, Israel is their first target, but it certainly isn't the last. It is our mutual responsibility to use the means at our disposal in order to stop terror, before it is too late."

Rivlin signed his letter with hopes for the establishment of peace in the region.

"We still believe that peace is the best solution for the region. All nations and peoples can and may enjoy peace in our region,This situation would destroy the power of extremist terrorists who are counting on hatred, xenophobia and ignorance. We in Israel yearn for a peaceful solution that would ensure the security of our country and of our nation, and will allow all the peoples in the region to achieve the prosperity they so deserve."