Washington (Oct. 21)
The State Department took issue today with the charge by the Soviet Ambassador to the United Nations, Yakov Malik, that the Jewish Defense League and “Zionist” militants were responsible for firing four rifle shots last night into an 11th story window of the Soviet UN Mission in New York. A Department spokesman condemned the shooting but said. “until we have some results from the police investigation we cannot say who might be involved.” According to Malik, the Soviet Mission received a telephone call after the shooting from a person who claimed responsibility and said “Never again,” a slogan used by the JDL.
Malik, speaking in the UN General Assembly, castigated US authorities for failure to take necessary measures to effectively prevent a systematic campaign by “Zionists” and other “hostile elements” against the Soviet Union. The US Ambassador to the UN, George Bush, answering the charges, denounced the shooting as an “outrageous, cowardly, hostile act.” He blamed it on “extremists” which he did not identify. Secretary of State William P. Rogers called the Soviet Ambassador to Washington, Anatoly F. Dobrynin, and expressed “shock and outrage.”
Bush told the General Assembly that the FBI has offered to cooperate with the New York Police Department in tracking down the perpetrators. Rogers telephoned Mayor John V. Lindsay today and was assured of full cooperation from the city. State Department sources noted that last Aug. 5 the administration proposed legislation that would make it a federal crime to commit violent acts against foreign diplomats in the US. They expressed hope that such legislation would be passed in light of the New York shooting.
A rifle and empty cartridge shells were found in an air shaft at Hunter College, near the Soviet Mission, Malik charged in the General Assembly that Hunter College had “often been used by Zionist organizations, including the JDL, for anti-Soviet meetings,” and that those taking part in the meetings included the “criminal Rabbi Meir Kahane” (JDL national chairman). He said the Soviet Mission had informed US authorities more than once of the activities of the “Fascist-Zionist group” headed by Rabbi Kahane. He charged that some responsible American politicians had participated in the meetings and thus encouraged them. He mentioned Lindsay as a participant. Malik was supported in his accusations by Jamil M. Baroody, the Saudi Arabian representative. “Who is responsible?” he asked. “The politicians, the Mayor who goes to synagogue and acts like a rabbi to obtain Jewish votes.” He said that other politicians too bore responsibility.
Bush commented in response that any implication that the Mayor was not concerned with loss of human life had to be regretted. He rejected implications that the Mayor and other city officials were less than zealous in protecting all in the Assembly. He added, in reply to Malik’s charges, that until the culprit or culprits were found, he would suspend judgement as to who was involved. He said the US condemned the harassment the Soviet Mission has received from the JDL but it was unfair to brand a whole people as Fascist and Zionist.