European Jewish Leaders Map Ways to Combat Terrorism
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European Jewish Leaders Map Ways to Combat Terrorism

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Steps to combat anti-Jewish terrorism in Europe and a call for closer cooperation between Jewish communities and their respective governments were agreed on at an emergency meeting here of Jewish leaders.

The heads of 16 European Jewish communities meeting last Sunday under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress, also heard off-the-record briefings from anti-terrorism officials from the United Kingdom, the United States and France. The WJCongress’ European Branch said it convened the conference because of the recent spate of terrorist attacks against Jewish targets on the continent.

Since March 1979, there have been 153 casualties, including 10 dead, in 12 attacks against Jews in France, West Germany, Belgium, Austria and Italy, it was reported.

Following the October 9 machine-gun and grenade attack on the Rome synagogue in which a two-year-old child was killed and 33 people were wounded, WJCongress officials raised the issue of the terrorism threat with officials at the European Parliament.


A press communique issued by the WJCongress said the 30 participants had discussed how Jewish communities could obtain help from their own governments and ensure cooperation between governments. They also discussed ways of streng-thening the legal framework “to help combat terrorism internationally.”

This, the communique said, ” included means by which pressure could be applied to governments to improve their own intelligence gathering procedures and the sharing of information … to facilitate the capture, trial and punishment of terrorists.”

At the same time, it was agreed that Jewish communities themselves should exercise a greater degree of self-protection, although no specific steps were published. Countries represented at the meeting were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France West Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia, Dr. Maurice Grynfogel of France, chairman of the WJCongress European Branch, presided.

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