Press Conference
by the Hon. Minister
Louis Farrakhan
Washington, D.C.

June 17th, 2002





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WEB POSTED 06-26-2002
Farrakhan ‘disappointed’ with Bush plan
Nation of Islam leader offers his own vision for Middle East peace


by Askia Muhammad
White House Correspondent

DOHA, Qatar (—In the face of the “disappointing” and one-sided U.S. government’s Middle East peace plan, which would have American officials dictating who should be the leaders of the Palestinian people, there is faint hope that another group of Americans can craft a path to true peace in the troubled region.

“I was very disappointed,” the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan told the Arab and Muslim world in a live broadcast to as many as 70 million viewers on the Al Jazeera network headquartered here, shortly after President George W. Bush outlined his administration’s proposals for the next stage of negotiations to settle the tortuous Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“I thought he could have been more balanced,” Min. Farrakhan said on the first leg of his own historic Middle East Peace Mission. “Why? Because the United States is the best friend of Israel.  The F-16s, the F-15s, the helicopter gunships, the tanks that are killing Palestinian people every day are made in the United States of America.”

Instead of offering the desperate Palestinian people hope in a Rose Garden speech June 24, Mr. Bush gave Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Israeli government a “green light,” in the eyes of most analysts, to be even more repressive in its brutal military crackdown inside the occupied territories.

The U.S. leader could have used his Middle East speech to “win the Arab world by being more balanced and giving hope to the Palestinians,” Min. Farrakhan said.

Palestinian leaders have been “compromised by terror,” Mr. Bush said, vowing that his administration would not support the call for the Palestinian state, until the Palestinian leadership “engages in a sustained fight against terror.”

“The Palestinians are absolutely defenseless,” Min Farrakhan countered. “If they had weapons to fight, there would be no suicide bombers, they would be in the streets right now, fighting a legitimate war. But since they have nothing to fight with, they have strapped bombs on their bodies to use their bodies as weapons against Israeli occupation.”

The harsh Bush rhetoric makes his own job “more difficult,” the Muslim leader declared. He had initially outlined a proposal to call for a 90-day moratorium in suicide bombings and future construction by Israel of a wall, intended to separate Arab and Israeli enclaves along Israel’s entire West Bank border.

Initially, members of the delegation of Muslim and Christian clergy planned to meet with Black Hebrew Israelites inside the Holy Land. They felt that the example of the suffering of Blacks and of Muslims in America, since last Sept. 11 and before, could help soothe the pain of the Palestinians just long enough to promote peace and stop the spiral of death and violence in the region.

“I believe that I love the Palestinians enough, and I am a human being who hates to see the suffering on both sides enough, that I could speak to Hamas. I could speak to those who are suffering, because I too come from a people who are suffering,” the Muslim leader said in an extended interview with Al Jazeera that was taped before Mr. Bush’s speech.

“In the United States of America, watching the carnage going on in Palestine, seeing the suffering of the Palestinians, and hearing the cry of Israeli and Palestinian mothers and fathers burying their sons and their daughters, this made us desire to want to see what we could do, if anything, to stop the carnage that is presently going on, and to de-escalate the violence that is presently raging in the West Bank, and Gaza, and in Israel as well.

“If I am permitted to go in, I don’t care how dangerous it is—I am totally unafraid of the danger, because I believe if I go, Allah will go with me. Allah will help me to help them to help themselves. I believe I can speak to Ariel Sharon, even as Musa (Moses) spoke to Pharaoh. Sincere, committed men of God can reach other hearts that appear to be hardened. But I believe Ariel Sharon wants a way out of this violence, and so does President Arafat, and so does Hamas, and so does the world.



“Because if this doesn’t stop, it could engulf the whole region and engulf the whole world. So this is the best and the most opportune time for people of good will to step in and try and solve the problem.”

The Christian clergy members of the Farrakhan delegation agreed. “I believe that (Min. Farrakhan) is the only personality at this stage of human history who can bring stability out of the chaos, who can make a difference in the lives of the Palestinians and the Jewish community,” the Rev. Al Sampson, pastor of Fernwood Methodist Church in Chicago told The Final Call.

Min. Farrakhan, the Rev. Sampson said, is alone among those seeking to help resolve the conflict because he has the ability to unite the Arab community and to articulate to Americans and others the Palestinian interests “because he is a moral man without a political agenda. He’s a moral man with a moral agenda.”

The Rev. James Bevel, another disciple and key lieutenant in the Civil Rights movement campaigns led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. agrees. “I think the most important thing on the planet is for human beings to turn from the practice of murder and war and violence. I think this campaign initiates that movement.”

Compared with work of Dr. King, in which the Rev. Bevel was a key player, the Farrakhan Mission is equally important. “This is more on an international level what (Dr.) King was doing on a national level.”

“I want to show the world that there is the deepest connection between the people of the Book. We’re Muslims, we’re Christians, we’re Jews. They will not be able to tell us apart,” Min. Farrakhan said of his plans, if permitted into the troubled region, to link up with Black Hebrew Israelites living in the Holy Land for more than 30 years.

The Farrakhan Peace Mission can: “Show the world that Black Muslims, Black Christians, and Black Jews are one. What’s wrong with you White ones?” he asked his delegation members rhetorically en route to Qatar.

The controversial Farrakhan Peace Mission has two goals he said. “Number one: if we could stop the carnage to allow the world to come in. I believe the problem is deeper than political, it is spiritual. So, if the spiritual leaders of the world are left out of this and only the politicians work to try and solve it, I don’t think we’ll come up with a solution.

“If God is not in the equation, if the scriptures are not properly understood that relate to that area of the world, you will never find a just solution to that problem. So politicians alone, I don’t think are sufficient. So that’s why, I’m coming into the Middle East.”

The second goal of the Peace Mission relates to U.S. threats against Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein, and will be aided by a strong show of worldwide Muslim unity. Muslims, Min. Farrakhan said, were seen as one community, not a variety of competing nationalities by Prophet Muhammad of Arabia (PBUH).

Today, he said: “We don’t have weapons to compete with the West. But if we were in unity, I would appeal to the rulers of the Muslim world, let us with one voice say to Pres. Bush: ‘Please, Pres. Bush, do not go to Iraq to unseat Saddam Hussein.’ Ten years after the Gulf War, more than a million and a half Iraqis have died, more than 500,000 of them children.

“So this vendetta, this idea of unseating Saddam Hussein will cause thousands of more lives to be lost. I think if all of us as Muslims appeal with one voice to the President of the United States, he may back away from a policy of war that would make America less than the super-power that she is, less than the moral leader that she could be.”

Photo: Min. Farrakhan has interview with Al Jazeera network in Qatar

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