NEW YORK (Dec. 10)
Maxwell E. Greenberg, national chairman of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, claimed that the seizure of hostages at the American Embassy in Teheran might have been averted had the U.S. and the world reacted promptly when Iranian students invaded the Israeli Embassy in Teheran three months ago.
“The world stood mute three months ago when confronted with violations of diplomatic quarters and staff — the takeover of the Israeli Embassy on the first day of the Khomeini regime,” the Los Angeles attorney told some 200 ADL leaders at the agency’s national executive committee meeting here.
“Earlier strong action against the Palestine Liberation Organization lawlessness and violations of diplomatic immunity might have deterred the PLO-trained Iranian students from taking American citizens as hostages in defiance of law, morality and American power,” Greenberg contended.
Similarly, he said, “There was no outcry last August when the Egyptian Ambassador was kidnapped by the PLO in Ankara; no international resolutions when the American Ambassador to Sudan was murdered by the PLO and none when the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon was kidnapped and killed.” He declared that “All forms of terrorism — as manifested by the PLO; the Ku Klux Klan; the Baoder Meinhof Gang, the Japanese Red Army, and in nations such as Argentina and Syria — must be fought wherever they appear.”
Sen. William Cohen (R.Me.), another speaker at the meeting, agreed that combatting international terrorism is a major challenge for the 1980s. Cohen stressed that American prestige and power have eroded as a result of U.S. dependence on oil from the Arab world.
He called for a tougher response to threats of extortion and said the same resolve must govern the American attitude toward a Middle East peace settlement. Noting Israel’s deep concern for its security, Cohen said “Israel understands that it was born from the ashes of horror and Holocaust and that it is surrounded by well-equipped, well-financed neighbors that seek to return it to ashes.”