Mrs. Meir Calls on Olympic Officials to Help Free Hostages

Premier Golda Meir declared this afternoon that it was unthinkable that the Olympic games “should continue as though nothing had happened” so long as Israeli citizens were being held by kidnappers and their lives threatened. Mrs. Meir told the Knesset that Israel had asked the Olympic Committee and the West German government to stop the games until the Israeli hostages were released.

Mrs. Meir called upon all the authorities and organizations connected with the games to “do whatever is necessary to free our citizens and to stand firmly against this mad terror.” She said that the murder and kidnapping highlighted the “vicious nature” of the terrorism which Israel was up against. The spirit of the Olympic games, she said, had overcome differences between countries, but the terrorists had smashed this Olympic spirit. The Premier delivered her statement in a hushed voice which almost broke when she referred to Moshe Weinberg and expressed her condolences to his family and her sympathy to the families of the hostages.

The Premier said Israel expected that West Germany and the Olympic organizers would do and were doing all in their power to free the Israeli hostages. She said she had received a special message from Chancellor Willy Brandt via the West German ambassador to Israel, who met with her in the Knesset shortly before she spoke, He expressed his government’s shook and regret and promised to ensure that no further tragedies would occur.

Mrs. Meir assured the Knesset that the Israeli government was in close and constant contact with its diplomats in West Germany and with the West German government. A Foreign Ministry spokesman explained later that the West Germans had arranged an open telephone line between Israel’s Ambassador in West Germany Eliashiv Ben-Horin in Munich and the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

NEXT STORY