HOUSTON (Oct. 31)
A wave of terrorist attacks aimed at Jews and Israelis in Western Europe has killed at least 25 persons and wounded 373 others during the past two years, according to a survey released today by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
Abraham Foxman, ADL’s associate national director and head of its international affairs division, said the recent machine-gunning of Rome’s central synagogue — in which a two-year-old Jewish boy died — was the 73rd separate incident reported in Western Europe since September, 1980.
The survey, conducted by ADL’s European office based in Paris, tabulated incidents involving firearms, other weapons or bombs, or desecrations of Jewish property. Not all of the victims, the ADL official noted, were Jewish. The findings were made public at a session of the ADL’s national executive committee meeting here at the Westin Galleria Hotel. The meeting, which opened last Thursday, ended today.
“West European governments,” Foxman said, “must be blamed, in part, for helping create a climate for anti-Semitic terror by allowing Palestine Liberation Organization representatives to operate on their soil.” He pointed out that,according to the survey, the four nations with the highest totals of anti-Jewish or anti-Israel incidents were those which have been most supportive of the PLO.
FOUR NATIONS WITH HIGHEST TOTALS
France, with 29 incidents, including the Rue Copernic synagogue bombing of October, 1980 (which killed four persons), had the highest number, the survey reported. Twelve incidents were recorded in Italy, II in Austria, five in Greece, four each in Germany and Great Britain, two each in Belgium and Ireland and one each in Cyprus, Denmark, Holland and Switzerland.
In only one of the terror incidents — the August, 1981 machine gun attack against a Vienna synagogue, in which two persons died and 19 were wounded — were the perpetrators apprehended, Foxman pointed out.
PLO operatives or sympathizers, he went on, were believed responsible for most of the attacks. “Unfortunately there has been a tendency on the part of West European law enforcement authorities to view anti-Semitic terror as part of the Arab-Israeli conflict and, in effect, extra-territorial. This has weakened investigative efforts.”
Foxman noted that a common thread in many of the anti-Semitic attacks was identical weaponry such as the Polish WZ-63 machine pistol which was used in August 9, 1982 attack on Goldenberg’s restaurant in the heart of Paris’ Jewish quarter in which six persons were killed and 22 others injured Another weapon used in many attacks was the Soviet or Czech-made “Banana” grenade.
“Until the West European authorities view these outrages as domestic affairs, directed strictly at their own citizenry — Italians, Frenchmen, Austrians — terror may reach a point where nobody in Western Europe can feel really secure,” Foxman said.