NEW YORK (May. 24)
Mayor John V. Lindsay, United Nations Secretary General U Thant, and the American Jewish Congress condemned yesterday the beating of three Arabs in their offices near the UN on Friday following the Arab guerrilla attack on an Israeli school bus. The Arabs were beaten in an apparent reprisal for the ambush attack. Arab representatives here charged that the attacks were made by members of the Jewish Defense League. Rabbi Meir Kahane, JDL leader declined to confirm or deny the charge. On Friday afternoon, shortly after the tragic event of the ambush was broadcast throughout the world, an unidentified woman called the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and said: “This is the Palestine Liberation Front. We have avenged the death of our Arab children.” The caller hung up without answering any questions. Mayor Lindsay called the beatings of the three Arabs “intolerable.” Police here reported yesterday they found no evidence to identify the attackers despite assertions by the victims that members of the JDL were responsible. Police details were posted outside Arab UN mission offices, Arab consulates and business offices. One of the victims, Dr. M. T. Mehdi, secretary general of the Action Committee on American-Arab Relations called on the New York District Attorney’s office to launch a full scale probe into the JDL. He also warned that the next time anyone tries to assault him he will shoot the assailant.
On Friday afternoon six persons forced their way into the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in mid-town Manhattan and beat Sadaat Hasan. A few minutes later, six men forced their way into Dr. Mehdi’s office a few blocks away and beat him and Ghazi Khankan, a staff member. All three men were hospitalized. Mr. Hasan was reported in satisfactory condition. The other two were not seriously injured. A spokesman at the PLO office said that the introducers left behind mimeographed papers saying in Hebrew and English: “An eye for an eye. The Bible. For murdered Jewish children. Never Again.” The JDL uses the phrase “Never Again” in its publicity and public statements. Mr. Thant deplored “the brutal assaults” on the three Arabs. A UN spokesman said Mr. Thant, on learning of the beatings, “immediately approached the United States Mission to the United Nations and has been assured by the Mission that prompt measures have been taken to assure the protection of Arab representatives…against any repetition of such lawless acts.” The American Jewish Congress, holding its biennial convention in Washington, D.C., called the actions of Jewish extremists “appalling and reprehensible.” It said, “these extremists do not represent us; they constitute a miniscule fraction of the American Jewish community.” The resolution did not mention the extremist group by name. One minor mystery in the incidents was a statement by Niamti Jauoni, Hasan’s secretary. She said the break-in by the assailants was preceded by a knock at the office door. She said that when she looked through a peephole, she says a Negro. When she opened the door, she said, six white men surged in and attacked Hasan.