Jennifer Dunn

Condemning the Bombing Outside the Mercer Island Jewish Community Center - March 13, 1997

Jennifer Dunn
March 13, 1997— U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC
Congressional floor speech
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Mr. Speaker, last week a bombing occurred outside the Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island, a city located in the congressional district I represent. It was a rare and threatening display of criminal behavior on Mercer Island and a crime that will not go unpunished.

There is an extremely dangerous individual at large who is responsible for this bombing, a coward of the highest magnitude, and who remains a threat to the Jewish community. Whether a dangerously immature prank or a deliberately anti-Semitic effort to terrorize this peaceful community, I condemn this act in the strongest possible sense. Local community leaders and I are relieved that no one was hurt and the center went undamaged. Bringing those responsible to justice is my highest priority, and I publicly declare my intention to fully support law enforcement officials toward that end.

It is particularly ironic, having recently witnessed on Israeli soil the finalizing of the Hebron agreement, that despite the historic and committed peace underway in one of the most traditionally volatile regions of the world, the community of Mercer Island is living with violence. I am proud of my neighbors on Mercer Island who refuse to allow this violence to terrorize them into retreat. They have reacted with calm, and their composure is noble and to be greatly admired.

Mr. Speaker, this Congress, indeed all of us, should note that what could have been a disastrous situation characterized by loss of precious life and honored property is instead a reminder of the work that lies before us. The good, peaceful, and law-abiding citizens of our communities and our country are ready to take this country back from terrorists and vandals. They will apprehend the lawless, prosecute them, and protect their communities. That's what the people of Mercer Island and the Jewish community are doing. I stand ready to help.

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