On the evening of May 2, 2002, House Majority Leader, Congressman Dick Armey openly admitted in MSNBC's politics-oriented show "Hardball", hosted by Chris Matthews, that his vision of peace for Israel involved the complete removal of all Palestinians living in the occupied territories.
For the first time ever in history such a high ranking active, American civil servant refers to the question of Palestine in terms that have been called by various observers as synonymous to ethnic cleansing. When Armey was asked where would a Palestinian state exist if Israel finally annexed the West Bank he answered: "There are many Arab nations that have many hundreds of thousands of acres of land and - and soil and property and opportunity to create a Palestinian state".
In disbelief, Matthews asked if he had thought about what he was saying. Mr. Armey had no problem in confirming his previous statements.
Still shocked by the response, he asked the question twice: "Well, just to repeat, you believe that the Palestinians who are now living on the West Bank should get out of there"?
Congressman Armey's answer: "Yes".
Although Armey's comments were disregarded by the media, groups like the American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC) were quick in offering reactions and demanding apologies. An official communiquй from the ADC stated:
Armey's call for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians is an endorsement of massive war crimes probably rising to the level of crimes against humanity. Armey owes the American and Palestinian people, and indeed the entire world, an immediate retraction and apology.
The Congressman's appearance in "Hardball" preceded voting in the House of Representatives of a resolution stating American solidarity for Israel on it's own "War on Terror" against Palestinian "extremist" groups. This resolution passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority the following day.
Congressman Armey's office offered no reactions in regards to the matter.
Fernando Zambrana Specially for PRAVDA.Ru Pittsburgh, PA, USA