White House Terms Terrorist Act Mindless and Irrational Violence

The White House issued a condemnation in President Nixon’s name today of the terrorist outrage in Maalot which it called “mindless and irrational” violence that “will serve no cause but undermine peace.” The President’s reaction was given to newsmen by White House Deputy Press Secretary Gerald Warren before news reached here that the terrorists were slain.

Warren declined to comment on whether Secre- tary of State Henry A. Kissinger, now in Jerusalem, would end his activity in the Middle East aimed at achieving an Israeli-Syrian disengagement accord or whether the President would instruct him not to return to Damascus under the circumstances. A White House official told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency privately this afternoon that the President would not do anything at present that “might exacerbate the situation.”

Warren told reporters that the U.S. position on terrorism “is well known” and that the U.S. is “working actively with other countries” on the problem. Replying to questions by the JTA which opened the subject at today’s White House news briefing, Warren said the President was informed of the circumstances and was following Kissinger’s cables with “special interest.” “I should not go beyond this,” he said.

One reporter observed that in less than two years, 41 Americans have been killed by Arab terrorists, that the U.S. recognized Sudan although the killers of the American Ambassador there have not yet gone on trial, and that the U.S. approved a Security Council resolution last month condemning Israel from which the massacre of 18 Israelis at Kiryat Shemona was deleted. “What has the President done besides deplore” those killings, Warren was asked. The press secretary limited his reply to noting that the Council resolution “equally condemned all acts of violence” and reiterated U.S. efforts against terrorism. (By Joseph Polakoff)

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