April 11, 2002 -- Distinguished Senators, by adhering to three principles -- moral clarity, strategic clarity, and the imperative of victory -- the forces of freedom, led by America, are well on their way to victory against terror from Afghanistan.

But that is only the first step in dismantling the global terrorist network.

The question many in my country are now asking is this: Will America apply its principles consistently and win this war, or will it selectively abandon those principles and thereby ultimately risk losing the war?

My countrymen ask this question, because they believe that terrorism is an indivisible evil and that the war against terror must be fought indivisibly.

Until last week, I was certain that the United States would adhere to its principles and lead the free world to a decisive victory. Today I, too, have my concerns.

I am concerned that, when it comes to terror directed against Israel, the moral and strategic clarity that is so crucial for victory is being lost.

I am concerned that the imperative of defeating terror everywhere is being ignored when the main engine of Palestinian terror is allowed to remain intact.

I am concerned that the State of Israel, that has for decades bravely manned the front lines against terror, is being pressed to back down just when it is on the verge of uprooting Palestinian terror.

These concerns first surfaced with the appearance of a reprehensible moral symmetry that equates Israel, a democratic government that is defending itself against terror, with the Palestinian dictatorship that is perpetrating it.

The deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians is shamefully equated with the unintentional loss of Palestinian life that is the tragic but unavoidable consequence of legitimate warfare.

The responsibility for civilian deaths in Israel and in Israel's subsequent military action in Palestinian-controlled areas lies squarely with Yasser Arafat.

No one, of course, would dare suggest that the United States was the guilty party in World War II because German casualties, which included millions of civilians, were 20 times higher than American casualties.

So, too, only a twisted and corrupt logic would paint America and Britain as the aggressors in the current war, because Afghan casualties are reported to have well exceeded the death toll of September 11.

The responsibility for civilian deaths in Israel and in Israel's subsequent military action in Palestinian-controlled areas lies squarely with Yasser Arafat.

Israel has not experienced a terrorist attack like the one the world witnessed on that horrific day in September. But in the last 18 months, Israel's six million citizens have buried over 400 victims of terror -- a per capita toll equivalent to half a dozen September 11ths. This daily, hourly carnage is also unprecedented, even in terrorism's bloody history.

Yet at the very moment when support for Israel's war against terror should be stronger than ever, my nation is being asked to stop fighting.

Though we are assured by friends that we have the right to defend ourselves, we are effectively asked not to exercise that right.

Israel must now do three things. First, it must dismantle Arafat's terrorist regime and expel Arafat from the region.

Second, Israel must clean out terrorists, weapons, and explosives from all Palestinian-controlled areas.

Third, Israel must establish physical barriers separating the main Palestinian population centers from Israeli towns and cities.

Done together, these three measures will dramatically reduce terrorism, bring security to the people of Israel, and restore stability to the region.

What has destabilized the region is not Israeli action against Palestinian terror, but rather the constant pressure exerted on Israel to show restraint.

Last week, the government of Israel began to take the second of these vital steps. Rather than bomb Palestinian-populated cities and towns from the air -- an operation that would have claimed thousands of civilian casualties -- the Israeli army is taking on greater risk by using ground forces that painstakingly make their way through the hornet's nests of Palestinian terror...

For seven months, many of the world's governments have rightly supported the war against Afghan terror. Yet after only seven days, their patience for the war against Palestinian terror ran out.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, what has destabilized the region is not Israeli action against Palestinian terror, but rather the constant pressure exerted on Israel to show restraint. It is precisely the exceptional restraint shown by Israel for over a year and a half that has unwittingly emboldened its enemies and inadvertently increased the threat of a wider conflict.

Indeed, I am confident that in time those who would question Israel's actions now will understand that rooting out Palestinian terror today will also make Israel and the world safer tomorrow.

For if we do not immediately shut down the terror factories where Arafat is producing human bombs, it is only a matter of time before suicide bombers will terrorize your cities. Eventually, it is not impossible that these human bombs will supplement their murderous force with suitcases equipped with devices of mass death that could make the horrors of September 11 seem pale by comparison.

That is why there is no alternative to winning this war without delay. No part of the terrorist network can be left intact. For if not fully eradicated, like the most malignant cancer, it will regroup and attack again with even greater ferocity. Only by dismantling the entire network will we be assured of victory.