LONDON (Jul. 7)
Police are guarding prominent British Jews after the discovery last week of a plot to kill or kidnap them. The Jews were included in a list of top people found together with an arms cache in a West London flat. The arms cache was said to be the property of a South American named “Carlos Martinez,” Police and forensic experts are looking for more clues in the Bayswater apartment where the arms were found.
Meanwhile, security for the Marks and Spencer family was stepped up because of a possible link with the 1973 shooting of its president, J. Edward Sieff, One of the guns discovered in the arms haul was a nine millimeter pistol–the same caliber as that used by the man who burst into Sieff’s home and shot him in the face. Sieff, 69, recovered, but his assailant was not caught.
A Marks and Spencer official would not comment about the possibility of “Carlos” being the man who shot their president. But he said all members of the family were aware of the security situation. It was recalled that the terrorist Leila Khaled warned in a BBC television documentary on terrorism that Arab gangs had “a list of prominent Jews” in the diaspora “which did not just include the Sieffs and the Rothschilds.’
MYSTIFIED ABOUT ‘DEATH LIST’
Leading figures in the entertainment world were mystified when they found out that their names were on the “death list.” Impressario Sir Bernard Delfont said “It seems strange to me. I can’t understand it at all.” Conductor Norman Del Mar said: “I can’t imagine what this is about I have no political activities at all, and it can’t have to do with Jews, because I’m Church of England myself,”
Yehudi Menuhin, controversial figure in the Jewish community here due to his frequent statements supporting the Arabs and his recent refusal to sign protests of leading artists and intellectuals against the exclusion of Israel from UNESCO said; “I am not surprised, Lists of this sort appear from time to time.”
A spokesman for British Herut told the JTA: “There have been attacks on Jewish people in Britain before and one has to face the realities of the possibility of more attacks on Jews….All one can do is be vigilant and cooperate with the police.”
PROBES BEING PURSUED
Martin Savitt, chairman of the defense and group relations committee of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told the JTA that he had been in touch with the appropriate police authorities on this matter. “They advised me that the matter is being taken care of, and suitable investigations are being pursued. If further action concerning the Jewish community here is necessary, they will advise me and keep me informed,” he said.
When asked whether any special instructions for particular precautionary measures had been issued to communal institutions and organizations, he replied in the negative. Savitt said that they are advising members of the Jewish community in Britain to observe standing instructions on security arrangements.