Menu JTA Search

Jdl Denies Its Members Attacked PLO Office, but Hails Action

The Jewish Defense League said today that the three men who broke into the Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters here yesterday afternoon and beat up an employee after firing several shots at him were not JDL members but part of “an unorganized militant Jewish group.” Ben Zvi, a JDL executive board member, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that his group applauded the action and “will give our whole-hearted, one hundred percent support to the three, including supplying a lawyer and bail If that becomes necessary should they be apprehended.”

Ben Zvi stated that the JDL was “contacted” by the trio before the attack and was told they were going to do so because “we feel that terrorists have to be treated with their own methods.” Ben Zvi asserted that one reason the JDL approved of the attack was a statement by a PLO spokesman last week describing New York as a little Tel Aviv. “We agree with that statement,” Ben Zvi said, “and we are determined to prove that he isn’t wrong.”

According to reports, the three men claiming at first to be members of the JDL, forced their way Into the PLO office in mid-town Manhattan, fired two or three shots at Hasan Rahman, the assistant director of the PLO office and the only employee there at the time. The shots missed their target and the trio turned on Rahman and beat him with a piece of lead pipe. The three also tore out the telephone wires, overturned files and fled, according to police reports. Rahman was taken to Bellevue Hospital where be was treated for cuts and bruises and reported in satisfactory condition.

SCALI, BEAME DENOUNCE ATTACK

After the raid the United Press International and the Associated Press received phone calls in which the callers Identified themselves as members of the Jewish Armed Resistance Strike Unit. The group is believed to be an off-shoot from the JDL. The attack occurred just six days before a planned massive demonstration at the United Nations by Jews and non-Jews to protest against the UN’s Invitation to the PLO to address the world body during its debate on the Palestine Question.

John Scali, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, condemned the attack as an “ugly reprehensible action by misguided zealots.” He said he had voted in the General Assembly against inviting the PLO “but my vote did not sanction this kind of vigilante action.” Mayor Abraham Beame denounced the act as “deplorable” and one that “cannot be excused by any rationale.” He noted that “while I have often expressed my outrage at the acts of the PLO, terrorism in the service of any cause must be rejected by any civilized society.”

NEXT STORY