NEW YORK (Jul. 26)
The American Jewish Congress has called on the Ford Administration and the international civil aviation community to seal off all countries that give sanctuary or support to air hijackers. Because “the United Nations cannot and will not act,” airlines and air pilots groups “must act together so that no one and no country may reap benefit from air piracy,” the AJ Congress said in a statement.
Without waiting for the airlines and air pilots to act, however, the statement declared “our government can move now to end violence in the air.” The AJ Congress called for legislation directing the President to suspend air service to: “any country used as a bass of operations or training or as a sanctuary for terrorists; any country that arms, aids or abets terrorist organizations; and any country that continues to maintain air traffic with an offending state.”
The AJ Congress also urged legislation to curtail “all U.S. economic and military assistance to any nation that encourages, protects. supplies–or falls to take appropriate action against–organizations guilty of air terrorism.” The statement urged that letters be sent to the international Air Transport Association and International Federation of Airlines Pilots Association urging them “to make clear that they will no longer fly to any nation that: refuses immediately to return a hijacked plane, its passengers or crew; gives haven to those responsible for any hijacking; or falls to prosecute or extradite hijack terrorists promptly.”
The statement concluded: “Such a resolute and publicly announced program, combining action by the private international civil aviation community and by our own government, will not only deter the lawless acts of private persons; it will also serve notice that any country that encourages these acts by condoning them and by offering haven to the guilty will suffer serious penalty.”