NEW YORK (Jun. 6)
Five American Jewish organizations have called for international action to prevent wanton terrorism such as the massacre at Lydda Airport last Tuesday which took the lives of 25. In a statement issued in conjunction with an inter-faith memorial service for the Lydda victims at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue here today, Mrs. Faye L. Schenk, president of Hadassah declared that governments must be made to stop sheltering self-declared organized terrorist gangs and that airlines should be called upon to take maximum security measures as a matter of regular routine.
Separate appeals have been addressed to President Nixon, Pope Paul and United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim by the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations–the three major bodies of American Reform Judaism–calling for global action against terrorists.
Stressing that the massacre at Lydda was not “an isolated regional incident,” Herman L, Weisman, president of the Zionist Organization of America, urged the US government today to take the lead in mobilizing international action against “a worldwide network of radical extremists who have determined that acts of violence against international air travel serve their revolutionary ends.” Weisman, in a letter to Secretary of State William P. Rogers, proposed that the US convene an international conference at which the participating nations would draft policy actions to deal with crimes against air travel. The Reform lay and rabbinical groups noted that if governments had exerted a harder line against air piracy and revolutionary homicide, the Lydda incident and similar acts may have been prevented.
Weisman recommended that the conference “determine appropriate means to hold countries who give shelter or asylum to those who commit acts against air travel responsible and accountable for such acts” and to agree on arrangements to “impose stern punishments for all perpetrators of hostile acts.” Mrs. Schenk noted that the Lydda plot was hatched in Beirut, Lebanon where the perpetrators were trained. Mrs. Schenk said that “national governments must take the drastic and cooperative steps necessary to reduce to the minimum the threat to international air passenger traffic. And Arab governments must be brought to the realization that the nations of the world will not permit their collaboration with terrorists.”