WASHINGTON (Mar. 22)
Sen. Floyd K. Haskell (D.Colo.) has told Congress and the Palestinian people that the goals of the Palestine Liberation Organization “are contemptible and compel even the most impartial observer to question the wisdom of even considering the PLO as a participant in the Middle East negotiations.”
In an “Open Letter to the Palestinian People,” which he entered into the Congressional Record following the “senseless and savage slaughter of innocent Israeli civilians” March II, Haskell asked the Palestinian people: “How can a people of acknowledged intellectual and artistic achievements permit themselves to be represented by butchers? Why should humanity care about your fate when those designated as your sole legitimate representative have so little regard for humanity? Why should Israel make the slightest concession to you when the Palestinian cause is so frequently associated with cowardly attacks on children and unarmed civilians?”
“If the tone of this letter appears intemperate,” Haskell added, “I freely acknowledge it. The time for refined discourse and diplomatic restraint is long past.”
Haskell, who has demonstrated in the past that he is not “insensitive to the plight of Palestinian refugees,” said, “I see no connection between the barbarism constantly committed by the PLO and the disposition of homeless Palestinians scattered throughout the Arab world.” He said the “immediate objective of this latest atrocity” is to “sabotage the prospects for a negotiated settlement.”
In an accompanying letter to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Haskell said he is “hopeful that expressions of outrage and condemnation by many concerned individuals will contribute to an end of terrorism which has plagued the State of Israel.