Statement by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Jerusalem, October 4, 2001

Today, a Russian plane, en route from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk, carrying 66 passengers and 12 crewmen, went down. This is a terrible tragedy for both Israel and Russia. I spoke today with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and we agreed on full cooperation between Israel and Russia in investigating this tragic incident.

I have also instructed Israel’s Minister of Transportation, Dr. Ephraim Sneh, to coordinate activities in this regard.

Today, Israel suffered another heinous Palestinian terrorist attack, which took a heavy toll – three dead and seven wounded. All efforts to reach a cease-fire have been torpedoed by the Palestinians. The fire did not cease, not even for one day.

The Cabinet has therefore instructed our security forces to take all necessary measures to bring full security to the citizens of Israel. We can rely only on ourselves.

We are currently in the midst of a complex and difficult diplomatic campaign, I call on the Western democracies, and primarily the leader of the Free World – the United States:

Do not repeat the dreadful mistake of 1938, when enlightened European democracies decided to sacrifice Czechoslovakia for a ‘convienient temporary solution’.

Do not try to appease the Arabs at our expense – this is unacceptable to us.

Israel will not be Czechoslovakia.

Israel will fight terrorism.

There is no ‘good terrorism’ and ‘bad terrorism’, just as there is no ‘good murder’ and ‘bad murder’. Terrorism, as we witnessed this week in Alei Sinai, is worse than murder.

We have been fighting terrorism for over 100 years. Unfortunately, there are no swift and immediate solutions. But if, united we confront this terrorism, we will be able to overcome it and bring peace.

And we shall overcome.