STRASBOURG (May. 19)
Two prominent European leaders, Belgian Deputy Premier Jean Gol and French opposition leader Jacques Chirac, have urged Western Europe to intensify its anti-terrorist action and to coordinate its efforts to try and wipe out terrorism in all its forms.
Both spoke last Friday at a plenary session of the European Branch of the World Jewish Congress now holding its annual meeting here.
Gol, who is also Belgium’s Justice Minister, called on the 10 member-nations of the European Economic Community (EEC) to coordinate their efforts and to automatically extradite suspected terrorists.
The Belgian minister, born of Polish-Jewish immigrant parents, said terrorists should no longer feel secure “anywhere after committing acts of violence” within the territory of one of the 10 EEC states. He said the government should also help other democratic states, apparently referring to Israel to rid themselves of the terrorist menace.
Chirac, a former Prime Minister, called on France to pass special legislation uniting the government’s anti-terrorist activity. He also called on the government to sign at the earliest the Anti-Terrorist Convention enabling easier extradition of terrorists.
The two speakers were warmly applauded by the 200 delegates from 21 countries, including representatives from every East European Jewish community except the Soviet Union and Albania.
The delegates discussed the situation of Soviet Jewry. Israel Singer, WJC’s executive director, called for emergency action on the part of world Jewry to save Russia’s Jews. Singer, who recently returned from a trip to the USSR where he conferred with Soviet officials and with Jewish activists, told the meeting: “Short of treason, we should try anything and everything to save Soviet Jewry.”