JERUSALEM (Jul. 9)
More than two-thirds of the Knesset membership joined today in a condemnation of the “invitation and official reception” accorded by Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky to Palestine Liberation Organization leader, Yasir Arafat in Vienna over the weekend. Coalition and major opposition parties united in supporting a motion, read by coalition chairman Yehuda Ben-Meir after a brief debate, which “asserted that the PLO’s aim is the annihilation of Israel and its method is premeditated murder.” The motion condemned the Kreisky-Arafat encounter.
Leading off the debate, Premier Menachem Begin cited parts of the PLO’s “Palestine Covenant.” which he referred to as “a second Mein Kampf.” He recalled PLO acts of murder from Maalot and Kiryat Shemona through the Munich massacre. He said it was” a sad day for the Jewish people” when leaders like Kreisky and Willy Brandt, leader of West Germany’s Social Democratic Party, welcomed the PLO chief.
“We Jews, the sons and builders of Eretz Israel, are free of all complexes. “Begin said in an obvious reference to Kreisky, who many Israeli observers feel has a complex about his Jewish origins.”We will continue in our path and will overcome both the Nazi Arafat and those who serve him — whatever their origins.”
He said Brandt, who is president of the Socialist International, would have to fall on his knees once again (as he did at the Warsaw Ghetto memorial when he visited Poland as Chancellor of West Germany) and ask forgiveness of history were Arafat to triumph.
LABOR PARTY TO LODGE PROTEST
Labor Party chairman Shimon Peres, who spoke for his party and some smaller opposition factions, said the weekend meeting had caused him “surprise, shock and grief.” He pledged that the Labor Party would lodge a very firm protest at future sessions of the Socialist International over this action by Brandt and Kreisky.
“Whatever differences exist in this hou