REMARKS BY PM SHARON ON SITUATION
Thursday, March 20, 2003
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Thursday, March 20, 2003
Following are excerpts from remarks that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made
earlier today (Thursday), 20.3.2003:
Several hours ago, US and allied military forces began their attack against
the Iraqi tyrant, Saddam Hussein.
The goal of this attack is the overthrow of a despot who possesses weapons
of mass destruction and who has sown death, ruin and destruction among his
people and among the entire world. This attack is part of the international
struggle being led by US President George Bush against a global axis of
I would like, at the outset, to send President Bush, the soldiers of the US
and allied military forces, and the entire American people, my best wishes
for success. Your war is the war of the free world, the world that seeks
liberty and democracy, against the black forces of wickedness that act in
only one way - that of terror.
The State of Israel is not taking part in this war but we well understand
the dangers of regimes such as that of Saddam Hussein. We well understand
the dangers posed by tyrants who use terror and possess weapons of mass
destruction. We recognize the threat posed by local, regional and global
terror; however, we are not involved in this war. We ourselves are involved
in a difficult campaign against Palestinian terror.
Even so, we know from past experience that when attacked, Saddam Hussein has
taken advantage of the opportunity and launched missiles at Israel's cities.
Therefore, in recent weeks and months, we have utilized every means at our
disposal and have taken all necessary measures in order to be prepared for
every possible development.
We estimate, believe and hope that we will not be involved with the war.
However, if - Heaven forbid - we are dragged into it, the State of Israel is
prepared to deal with any possible threat, both from a defensive and an
I have said in the past, and I say it again today, that if the State of
Israel is attacked, we will know how to defend ourselves. No one, neither
Palestinian terrorist organizations, nor Hizbullah, nor any other terrorist
organization, should contemplate taking advantage of this situation.
The past two years have not been easy. The terror war that has been waged
against us has placed difficult challenges before each and every one of us.
Daily and hourly, Israeli citizens have shown their strength and their
extraordinary endurance. The citizens of Israel have shown their
determination and internal quietude. I know this people. I know that they
will continue thus.
I call upon all Israeli citizens to continue in their daily routines. I
urge you to follow and implement the instructions of the proper authorities,
to send your children to kindergarten and school, and to go to work. Keep
up your daily schedules as planned.
I am convinced that just as we knew in the past how to stand up to our
enemies and face varied threats, we will know how to deal with what comes
I hope and believe that the successful conclusion of the American campaign
in Iraq and the uprooting of the evil terrorist regime of Saddam Hussein
will mark the beginning of a new era, one that is better for our region and
for the entire world!"