Dan Gillerman, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations

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This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, August 19, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You know, Tuesday’s bombings prove that really no one is safe. First, it was the U.N. compound in Iraq, and, then hours later, over 20 people killed in a bus bombing in Jerusalem (search). A calm evening broken when a massive blast rocked the region with multiple deaths and injuries.

Joining me now is the Israeli ambassador to the U.N., Dan Gillerman.

Ambassador, good to have you.


CAVUTO: Very difficult circumstances.

GILLERMAN: Thank you for having me.

CAVUTO: Everyone is saying now the peace process is at the very least compromised. What do you say?

GILLERMAN: Well, I think what the world got today in a very bloody way is a very stark reminder of the indiscrimination and the global nature of terror. Terror has struck on the streets of Jerusalem, killing at least 20 people, many of them babies and children, and in the U.N. compound in Baghdad.

CAVUTO: Do you, by the way, draw any connection between the two?

GILLERMAN: Well, the one inescapable connection is global terrorism. Terror has become the most dangerous epidemic of the 21st century. Terror is far more dangerous and far more infectious than SARS. In fact, the SARS of terrorism, the suicide and ruin syndrome, is the most dangerous epidemic that the world is witnessing at this very moment.

CAVUTO: But, again, Ambassador, I just want to be clear. You’re not drawing any connection besides just coincidence between the attack in Baghdad today and in Jerusalem later on today.

GILLERMAN: No, I’m not drawing any connection between the two, except that they are manifestations of the most horrible terror, which was actually invented by the Palestinians.

CAVUTO: It seems now to have knocked the peace process off its kilter. Now Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian prime minister, as you know, sir, has been on the wires condemning this attack, but doesn’t he now look ineffectual as a result?

GILLERMAN: He not only looks it, he is ineffectual, and this, sadly, could very well be a death blow to the peace process.

We’ve been saying all along the real test for Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership is their action against terrorism and the dismantling of the infrastructure of terror. Talk is not enough.

Mahmoud Abbas is condemning. Mahmoud Abbas is calling for an investigation. There is nothing to investigate. Mahmoud Abbas, more than anybody, knows who these people are, knows where they are, knows their names, knows where the weapons are stashed, and all he has to do is arrest them.

CAVUTO: What do you think derailed it, sir? I mean you had, what, seven weeks where we had relative peace, relative calm, no such incidents, and then boom.

GILLERMAN: It’s quite obvious what derailed it. What derailed it was the impotence and the total inaction of the Palestinian leadership. Mahmoud Abbas has been prime minister over three months. We have repeatedly asked him and demanded of him to act against terrorism.

He has tried to appease these people. He’s tried to legitimize those people. He has not acted against them.

CAVUTO: You’re right maybe in a large sense, but let’s say it wasn’t Hamas, even though they jumped at taking credit for this after that. What if it was potentially outside forces that are just trying to mucky up the process, to torpedo the process?

GILLERMAN: There are no outside forces. All the forces are there, and all the forces are known. The blood and the bodies of those innocent children and babies who were on their way home on the bus from praying to having dinner at home, is crying out and accusing the people who have not acted against terror, and saying to them, if you do not eradicate terror, terror will eradicate you, and Mahmoud Abbas must understand that now that he has talked the talk, he must walk the walk, because if he does not...

CAVUTO: But let’s take him at his word that he does certainly want to talk the talk and he’s trying to get the other guys, Hamas and some of these groups, to walk the walk, and they’re not? What does that mean?

GILLERMAN: There’s no way to act against those people but by force. You cannot appease them. You cannot talk to them. You cannot ask them nicely.

And let me make one thing very clear. This is not a question of capability. This is only a question of willingness. If Mahmoud Abbas and Dahlan who know who these people are, know where they are, and have proved in the past -- Palestinian leadership has shown in the past that, if they want to, they can act against terror, if they do not act against them, this will blow up in everybody’s face and kill the peace process.

CAVUTO: All right.

GILLERMAN: It is not a question of capability.

CAVUTO: Ambassador, do you think the fact that the U.N. was targeted in Baghdad that the whole world is susceptible to terror, and, if anything good, tragic as it was, came out of this, it was a healthy reminder of that?

GILLERMAN: Well, you said at the very beginning when you introduced me that no one is safe, and, indeed, after today, no one is safe. When an organization such as the U.N., a global international organization which is there to do good, is targeted and hit, it shows the indiscrimination and the global nature of terror.

It shows how horrible it is and how dangerous it is, and I wish this did not happen, but, hopefully, this will shake people up, wake them up to the reality of the whole world having to mobilize against terror and act to eradicate it.

CAVUTO: Ambassador Dan Gillerman, thank you for taking time out of your hectic schedule.

GILLERMAN: Thank you very much.

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