Rightist Rally Hears Speech From Giuliani FORWARD STAFF http://www.forward.com/issues/2001/01.10.26/news2.html OCTOBER 26, 2001 JERUSALEM — NEW YORK'S MAYOR Giuliani spoke by telephone this week to a right-wing rally here at which speakers called for the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority and several speakers urged the mass expulsion of Palestinians from Israel's occupied territories. The rally, staged by the Council of Settlers of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, was billed as a memorial for slain Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi. Drawing a boisterous crowd of 80,000 mainly Orthodox Jews to Jerusalem's Zion Square, its themes included stepping up the war against terrorism and banishing Yasser Arafat from the territories. At least four speakers, including a leader of Ze'evi's Moledet Party, Knesset Member Benny Elon, called for the "transfer" of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza to the 22 other Arab nations as demonstrators brandished signs that described Mr. Arafat and Osama bin Laden as "twins." Mr. Giuliani spoke to the crowd by live telephone hookup from New York, reportedly at the invitation of Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert. "New York and Jerusalem are closer than ever before," Mr. Giuliani told the crowd, adding that the two cities have "the same values." "Both the United States and Israel are seeking to defend and perpetuate the same values of democracy, freedom, respect for the law and human life," he said. According to a close adviser and former aide to Mr. Giuliani, Bruce Teitelbaum, the mayor had no knowledge of the contents of the speeches or the tenor of the rally. He "simply wanted to express his solidarity with the people of Israel at this very difficult time and to explain to the Israeli people that the United States is fighting terrorism and that it is important to eradicate terrorism forever, wherever it exists." "I'm certain the mayor would reject the notion of the forced expulsion of anyone from Israel," Mr. Teitelbaum added. Last year, while Mr. Giuliani was running for the U.S. Senate against then-first lady Hillary Clinton, Mrs. Clinton was repeatedly criticized by Mr. Giuliani's supporters for appearing at events where sponsors or fellow-speakers took extreme anti-Israel positions. In each case Mrs. Clinton had denied being familiar with the background of the people in question. This week, however, most observers appeared to accept Mr. Giuliani's ignorance as sufficient explanation for his participation alongside advocates of a view most Americans consider repugnant. "If one mayor asks another to address a gathering, there is no reason to have any doubts," said the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman. He added that ADL views the notion of "transfer" as "undemocratic, contrary to Jewish tradition and Jewish history." "You try to find out to the best of your ability what will be said, but there is nothing to stop someone to get up at the microphone and deciding to go beyond the script," said the assistant executive director of Americans for Peace Now, Lewis Roth. "However, it is also incumbent on individuals speaking at political events in Israel to make sure that the tone and content of the events are consistent with mainstream thinking about various issues." The speech was the second time in recent weeks that Mr. Giuliani has injected himself into the Middle East conflict. Two weeks ago, he rejected a Saudi prince's $10-million donation toward relief for the World Trade Center attack after the prince suggested the attack stemmed from American support for Israel. The mayor's move at the time was applauded by many American Jewish organizations. "Transfer," or mass relocation of Palestinians from the territories, is a controversial doctrine that kept Ze'evi on the margins of Israeli politics for years, despite his reputation as a military hero. The doctrine continues to win little support in the general public, though it is said to enjoy significant backing in the settler community, which is nearly unanimous in opposing any peace plan that would give Palestinians sovereignty in the territories currently under Israeli control. This week's rally was intended by the settler movement as a combination show of strength, memorial to Ze'evi and protest against what settlers view as government inaction in the face of Palestinian terror. One rally participant, Heather Samuels, a native of Memphis, Tenn., said she attended the rally to mourn Ze'evi's death, to oppose the dialogue with the Palestinian Authority and to encourage Israel's government to use military means to resolve the year-old intifada, "just as President Bush is" in his war against terrorism. Others, however, used the rally as an opportunity to spread messages of their own. One Moledet volunteer was seen distributing stickers calling for the arrest of the "Oslo criminals," as rightists often refer to Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and his allies. The volunteer, who declined to give his name but said he was from the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron, wondered aloud how the United States would react if the "black population of America was to rise up against the whites and fire mortars at New York. That would be the end of them. Now we have to do the same." A deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Larrisa Gerstein, a political ally of Mr. Ze'evi, told the Forward she saw the rally as evidence of a "resurgence of the right, that was always strong. But more than the strengthening of the right, I see the building of national unity, unconnected with politics, that addresses our survival. The only way to ensure [Israel's survival] and to commemorate the deaths of the 657 people killed since the signing of the Oslo agreement is to see Oslo to the grave." Many on the left, however, downplayed the importance of the rally. "I am surprised that they had less than 100,000," said Peace Now spokesman Didi Remez. "As an absolute show of strength it was pretty small." He predicted that the return of the Israeli government to pre-Oslo policies of confrontation with the Palestinians would galvanize Israel's floundering left. "Most people see us sliding down a slippery path to another Lebanon, and that is what we must prevent," he said. Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, placed Mr. Giuliani's speech in line with his support for Israel and dismissed any connection between the mayor and the issue of population transfer. "The issue of transfer is an issue for the government of Israel and the people of Israel to discuss, not for the mayor of New York City," Mr. Klein said. Mr. Foxman, while agreeing that "our responsibility is not to respond to demonstrations and people in the street," said that American Jewish groups need to respond if the issue of population transfer is addressed. The rally showed the anger many Israelis feel in the wake of the Ze'evi assassination. As demonstrators held a sign declaring "Muslims are Nazis," Mr. Elon criticized Prime Minister Sharon for sending a message to Washington that Mr. Arafat is Israel's partner, while declaring in Israel that he is the enemy. Mr. Olmert, for his part, devoted his speech to expressions of unreserved support for the settler movement. He called the settlers the "commandos of Israel, the very foundation of Israel's strength," who act as Israel's defensive outpost against those who oppose its right to exist "both within and without." He ended his speech by declaring that Israel will "never leave any part of Jerusalem."