Wives of 2 Israelis Detained in Syria Urge Hadassah Members to Work for Liberation
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Wives of 2 Israelis Detained in Syria Urge Hadassah Members to Work for Liberation

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In a dramatic appeal at the banquet session of Hadassah’s 55th annual convention here, Mrs. Naomi Samueloff, speaking for herself and Mrs. Tilda Muallem, called upon the United States Government and Trans World Airlines to work for the liberation of their husbands held captive in Syria since Aug. 29. The men were passengers aboard a TWA jetliner hijacked to Damascus by Arab terrorists. Mrs. Samueloff asked the U.S. and TWA to “live up to their obligations and not to abandon our husbands to their fate.”

Mrs. Samueloff said that the men had no connection with the Israeli Army and that they were not politicians. Mr. Muallem, she continued, was returning to Israel from a family visit “and my husband was returning from a scientific trip to England, where he had been working with a group of English scientists investigating the climactic effect of heat on different ethnic groups.”

She added that “almost two months have elapsed and the world seems to have forgotten our problem. We ask ourselves how can anything like this happen in the 20th Century when people can fly to the moon and nothing can be done to get the release of two innocent civilians?” She thanked Hadassah for all its efforts and told the delegates that she belonged to a Hadassah family. Her husband, she said, was a graduate of the Hadassah Medical School which now employs him, and she was a graduate of the Hadassah nursing school.

The two women received a standing ovation. Mrs. Max Schenk, national president, in an emotional response, told the two women that Hadassah would continue its efforts to free the two men. She urged adoption of a resolution urging the United States Government, the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations and other concerned bodies to take prompt and effective action to prevent air piracy and its “catastrophic results.” The approved resolution called specifically for the release of the two detainees.

The two wives were flying to Washington tonight where they were expected to address the Pioneer Women’s convention, to meet with State Department officials, Senators and Congressmen. Arrangements were being made for them by the Israel Embassy. They were expected to stay in Washington for several days before going to the United Nations on Monday to meet with Miss Angie Brooks of Liberia, president of the General Assembly. The Embassy is trying to arrange an appointment with Secretary-General U Thant. They will see officials of TWA on Tuesday.

(Miss Brooks conferred today with George Tomeh, the Syrian Ambassador, and Mr. Thant saw Yosef Tekoah, Israel’s envoy. Observers believed both meetings dealt, at least in part, with the plight of the detainees.)

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