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Writers, Artists Protest Against France’s Release of Abu Daoud

Louise Nevelson, one of America’s most famous living sculptors, and a delegation of artists, writers and theater notables representing Writers and Artists for Peace in the Middle East, met today with M. Jacques Lecompt, charge d’affaires at the French Mission to the United Nations, to protest the release of Palestinian terrorist Abu Daoud.

Joining Ms. Nevelson were sculptor Chaim Gross, art dealer Arnold Glimcher, literary critic Alfred Kazin, Bayard Rustin and Bess Myerson. They presented a letter to be transmitted to President Valery Giscard d’Estaing. Signatures included: Cleveland Amory, Cy Coleman, Gerold Frank, Sheldon Harnick, Arthur Laurents, Bernard Malamud, Estelle Parsons and Shelley Winters, Paddy Cheyefsky, Otto Preminger and Katherine Kuh.

The letter condemned “France for what it has done to cripple the fight against international terrorism. By selling out for economic and political considerations, France has betrayed its friends and allies in the struggle which must go on.” It continued, “We call upon you, Mr. President, to restore France to what it once symbolized, and to rejoin the forces of civilized mankind by remaining steadfast with the United States and your Common Market partners in our common struggle, which, if not successful, spells doom for all peoples and nations, including France.”

NATIONWIDE PROTESTS CONTINUE

Meanwhile anger at France for releasing Daoud continued across the country and numerous Jewish organizations issued condemnations of the action. These included the Jewish Community Federation of Rochester, the Atlanta Jewish Welfare Federation, Americans for Progressive Israel-Hashomer Hatzair, the Greater Boston Jewish Community Council, the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis and the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Jewish Labor Committee.

In addition, demonstrations were held in New York by students of the Ramaz High School a Jewish day school in Manhattan; and in the state of Washington by members of the Seattle Jewish Community where the demonstration was telecast by ABC and CBS. At the same time, Young Israel Tours, with the concurrence of the Orthodox movement’s National Council has cancelled its tour program to France. Alfred Gottschalk, president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. Ohio, urged Americans planning visits to France or purchasing French-made items to cancel their plans.

(In Paris, some 2,000 persons staged a demonstration last night to protest against France’s decision to release Daoud. The meeting was organized by major Jewish organizations and the speakers criticized the French government’s decision. Jean-Pierre-Bloch, president of the International League Against Anti-Semitism, declared that the release “disgraced France and marred its reputation and prestige.”)

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