American Jews Rap Daoud’s Release; Call It Breakdown in Int’l. Law
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American Jews Rap Daoud’s Release; Call It Breakdown in Int’l. Law

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Major American Jewish organizations responded angrily today to a French court’s decision to release Abu Daoud, the Palestinian terrorist held responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, Rabbi Alexander Schindler, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, called the French action “the height of irresponsibility marking the breakdown of international law and giving the signal to terrorists all oven the world they are now free to kill and kill again.”

A statement released by Hadassah said: “Terrorism and blackmail has once more triumphed over the rule of law today with the release by a French court of Abu Daoud who confessed on a Jordanian radio broadcast in 1973 that he masterminded the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. While nations of differing political ideologies are collaborating at this very time to pass a United Nations convention denouncing terrorism, a major power of the free world has undermined morality by succumbing to blackmail…The political subversion of justice by France on behalf of the terrorists makes a sham of any Mideast peace conference which France supports.”

David M. Blumberg, president of B’nai B’rith, condemned the French court’s action as a capitulation to Arab blackmail. “The speed with which Daoud was released by a French court in face of anticipated German and Israeli requests for extradition demonstrates that the decision was not a judicial one but a political submission to Arab blackmail,” Blumberg declared. He called the action “a travesty of justice and encouragement to terrorists which mocks France’s professed adherence to the European convention against terrorism.”


The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith strongly condemned Daoud’s release as “a gross capitulation to blackmail and terrorism” which will “directly encourage and stimulate further murders.” Burton M. Joseph, ADL chairman, said that France’s claim of not being fully aware of Daoud’s identity is “patently absurd” and a “lame alibi…to cover up their unconditional surrender to Arab terrorists.” Joseph noted also that Daoud had given the lie to the French by “boasting of his culpability for the Munich massacre and of his role as one of the leaders of the Black September organization.” He called upon “all men of good will in all lands to protest this severe setback to international peace and security.”

A statement by the American Jewish Congress said that “By its craven surrender to Arab pressure, resulting in the release of a notorious Palestinian terrorist so that he may kill again, the government of France has earned the scorn and contempt of civilized nations around the world. Last June, in one of the first international steps against Arab terrorist activity, the Common Market nations of Europe signed an agreement to take stricter measures in dealing with terrorists. Now, at the first opportunity, France reneges on its commitments.”

The AJ Congress noted that for Americans, the release of Abu Daoud is a particularly troubling one. It was to win the release of Abu Daoud, then imprisoned in Jordan, that a terrorist operation was undertaken in Khartoum, the Sudan, in 1973 in which the United States Ambassador, Cleo A. Noel Jr. and several other diplomats were killed, Not long afterward, King Hussein released Abu Daoud. Now he has been freed again so that he may kill again…”

Richard Maass, chairman of the board of governors of the American Jewish Committee, said: “We are shocked and dismayed at the craven act of the French government, in flagrant defiance of international law and the basic tenets of morality. The release of the avowed terrorist, Abu Daoud, who was involved in the perpetration of the most heinous crimes, including the murder of the Israeli athletes in Munich, is not only a stain on France’s name and prestige, but a grievous disservice to the attempts of men of good will to stem the epidemic of international terrorism.” Maass said that “Aside from excluding itself from any meaningful role in the search for peace in the Middle East, France has helped to reinforce the scourge of Arab blackmail against the free world.”


Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, chairman of the American Section of the World Zionist Organization Executive, declared that “The action of the French court in releasing the notorious desperado Daoud is a blow to international justice and decency. To have released this renowned terrorist on a mere technicality is an insult to the memory of those who perished in Munich and their bereaved families,” Mrs. Jacobson said. She added that the ruling of the French court was “a discredit to the French nation and its long tradition of justice and morality.”

The National Council of Jewish Women said that “France’s action at a time when civilized nations are seeking means for controlling terrorist activities can only serve to impede constructive effort to eliminate the monstrous crimes perpetrated by terrorists with their terrible toll in human lives.”

The Union of American Hebrew Congregations charged France with “capitulation and barbarism.” Albert Vorspan, UAHC vice-president, said that “Arab petrodollars, oil and political muscle obviously counted for more than justice, law and the moral canon of civilization.” He said “France has virtually issued an invitation to terrorists and mass murderers to continue their bloody work.”

Rabbi Walter S. Wurzburger, president of the Rabbinical Council of America, expressing shock, said “This surrender to arrogant Arab blackmail represents a new low even for France.” He said that “surrender such as this will only whet the appetite of the blackmailers and that the French can now expect greater demands from their Arab masters.”

Herman Rosenbaum, president of the National Council of Young Israel, said the release of Daoud “will remain a source of shame throughout the history of France” and “constitutes an abrogation of French and international law and a collapse before blackmail.” He said “It is clear that the French government sees justice, international law and its own laws of no import when confronted with Arab oil blackmail.” Statements of outrage were also expressed by other American Jewish organizations and individuals.

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