NEW YORK (Sep. 15)
Of the 54 airline passengers and crewmen still being held hostage in Amman by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, 38 had been on the hijacked Trans World plane and at least eight of those–all Brooklynites–are known to be Jewish. The eight are Rabbi Jonathan David, a teacher at Chaim Berlin Yeshiva; Mrs. David; Rabbi Y. Hutner; Rabbi Abraham Harari-Rafoul; Rabbi Joseph Harari-Rafoul; Yaakov Drillman, a 19-year-old rabbinical student and son of Rabbi Solomon Drillman; Fran B. Chesler, a 20-year-old student at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, and Miriam R. Beeber a 20-year-old senior at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Two other passengers believed to be Jewish on the basis of their names are Sarah Malka of North Bergen. N.J., a senior at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, and Myer Fund of Brooklyn. Rabbi Hutner’s wife was released yesterday.
The Brooklyn Board of Rabbis expressed “profound dismay and indignation” yesterday at the detention of Rabbis David and Hutner, who are members of the board, and of Rabbi Drillman’s son. The board urged the United States to help seek the release of all the hostages, adding; “It is intolerable that Americans of the Jewish faith traveling peacefully in commercial aircraft should be subjected to harassment and fear for their very lives because they are Jews.” A spokesmen for TWA in New York, Frank Partsi, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that three members of a five-man TWA delegation that had gone to Amman on Aug. 31, the day after the hijacking, were still there. They include Claude Gerard, Paris-based director of flight operations, and Richard Wilson, assistant to the president. Mr. Partsi said Mr. Gerard had telephoned him from Amman last week, but that when their talk touched on the accessibility of the prisoners they were disconnected. Mr. Partsi said Mr. Wilson had managed to inform New York, via messages sent roundabout by way of Nicosia, Cyprus, that he was attempting to reach the hostages’ location.