WASHINGTON (Oct. 2)
The Senate, in a resolution approved by voice vote yesterday, urged the Austrian government to reverse its decision to close its processing center for Jewish emigrants to Israel, warning that “capitulation to terrorists encourages their attempts at blackmail.” The “sense of the Senate” resolution, sponsored by Sen. Walter F. Mondale (D.Minn.) was approved as an indication to show how strongly American feeling is running on the issue of terrorism and was attached to an amendment to a $1.2 billion economic aid authorization bill.
Earlier, Mondale and three Congressmen charged that the Austrian government’s promise to two Arab terrorists to close the transit center for Soviet Jewish refugees was a capitulation to terrorist blackmail. Senators Henry M. Jackson (D.Wash.), Abraham Ribicoff (D.Conn.), and Representative Bella Abzug (D.N.Y.) sent separate messages to Arno Halusa, Austria’s Ambassador to the U.S., urging his government to reconsider its decision and warning that yielding to terrorist blackmail is a dangerous precedent that threatens all governments and peoples. The lawmakers also noted that promises made to terrorists under duress have no validity.
In another action here, an inter- religious delegation representing Catholic, Jewish and Protestant organizations received assurances yesterday from the Austrian Embassy that the closing of the Schoenau center did not mean that Austria had closed its doors to refugees. The Rev. John Steinbruck, of the Lutheran Place Lutheran Memorial Church here, reported that Dr. Hans Rudofsky, Minister Counsellor of the Embassy, told the delegation that the closing of the center was “an organizational problem” and that Austria continues to be an “open country.”
The Rev. Steinbruck said he suggested during the discussion with Dr. Rudofsky that the closing of the transit center provided an opportunity for religious groups such as the Lutheran World Federation, the Church World Service and the Catholic Assistance Organization to form a coalition to assist Austria in processing Jewish migrants on their way from the Soviet Union to Israel.
The visit to the Embassy was initiated by Sister Ann Gillen of Chicago who is the executive director of the Inter-Religious Task Force for Soviet Jewry. She and Brant Coopersmith, Washington regional director of the American Jewish Committee, were the two other members of the delegation who spoke with Dr. Rudofsky.
Meanwhile, reactions of shock and dismay coupled with hopes that the Austrian government would reconsider its decision were expressed by Harry K. Gutman, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations; Rabbi Joseph B. Glaser, executive vice-president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; and Rabbi William Berkowitz, president of the New York Board of Rabbis.
Eli Zborowski, president of the American Federation of Jewish Fighters, Camp Inmates and Nazi Victims, said in a letter of protest to Robert Marchik, Consul General of Austria in New York: “We who experienced the taste of terror, we who were once seeking freedom and were victims of tyranny and of the world’s silence, will not let the world remain silent upon acts like your government has taken under pressure of two terrorists, criminals and those elements that back them.”
In Canada, similar statements of concern were issued and sent to Dr. Edward Schiller, Austria’s Ambassador to Canada, by Max Shecter and Frank Dimant, president and executive director respectively of the Canadian Zionist Federation, Central Region; and by the Labor Zionist Alliance, Zionist Revisionist Organization of Ontario, Hadassah, Pioneer Women of Ontario, Mizrachi Movement of Ontario, Herut Women of Canada and Achdut Haavoda of Canada.
Unconfirmed reports reached Tel Aviv today that members of various Arab terrorist organizations have been trained in Czechoslovakia by the Czech Army special field engineering branch. The training includes acts of sabotage, according to Yediot Achronot. According to the report, the commander of the training detail is a former SS man named Roman Gomota. Gomota, 56, was a close friend of Ernest Kaltenbrunner, one of the leaders of the Nazi regime.
David Ben Gurion who was hospitalized for a week suffering from a cold and a temperature developed later was released this afternoon and returned to his home. Physicians said he was well again and recovered from his cold.
The National Conference on Soviet Jewry reported today that the four Jews detained by Soviet police this weekend at the Babi Yar memorial ceremony were: Ida Nudel of Moscow, Viktoria Poltinnikov of Novosibirsk, Igor Goldfarb of Kiev and Helen Sirtenko of Moscow. The NCSJ also reported that ten Jews were arrested today in Moscow while demonstrating in front of the Tass news agency building. It was also reported that Arkady Shpilberg and Yuli Tartakovsky were given permission by Soviet authorities to emigrate.
PEF Israel Endowment Funds, Inc., of New York, has purchased $547,000 in State of Israel Bonds, it was announced today by Sidney Musher, president of the 50-year-old tax-exempt institution. PEF was founded by Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Robert Szold and a group of other leading Americans.
The following quotations from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange are provided to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by Leumi Securities, 18 E. 48 St., New York, N.Y. 10017. This is a selected list of the most active stocks.
Closing Prices: 9/24, 10/1
Africa Israel – $ 6.59, $ 6.58
Alliance ‘B’ – 12.20, 12.24
ATA ‘C’ – .26, .27
Bank Leumi – 68, .69
Bank Leumi Investment – .461/2, .47
Delek – ex .36, .37
Discount Bank Investment – 2.85, 2.84
Electra – 2.44, 2.37
Electric Wire & Cable – 1.18, 1.18
General Mortgage Bank – 2.66, 2.67
Hassneh Insurance – 5.00, 4.99
Mehadrin Citrus – .44, .42
Shemen – 1.38, 1.38
Taal Plywood – 1.34, 1.42
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