PARIS (Jul. 1)
Vice President George Bush urged stronger international cooperation to fight terrorism today, especially Franco-American cooperation. The Vice President spoke after returning from Frankfurt, West Germany where he greeted the 39 American hostages flown there from Damascus last night following their release in Beirut yesterday.
Bush, who interrupted an official visit to France to go to Frankfurt, conferred here today with Defense Minister Charles Hernu and Foreign Minister Roland Dumas and also had a meeting with Premier Laurent Fabius.
At a luncheon at the Foreign Ministry, Bush repeated President Reagan’s pledge that “we are steadfastly refusing to make any deals with terrorism.” He proposed a toast to world cooperation to combat terrorism and aerial hijackings.
Bush noted that seven Americans and four French nationals are still held hostage in Beirut by Shiite Moslem extremists who kidnapped them off the streets of Beirut long before the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 on June 14. Nabih Berri, leader of the Shiite militia Amal, has promised to secure the release of two of the French hostages who were kidnapped on May 22, one of them a Jewish journalist, Jean-Paul Kauffman, but only after Israel frees the 735 Lebanese Shiites it holds prisoner in the Atlit detention camp. Kauffman’s wife said she was going to Israel to lobby for the release of the Shiites “in order to obtain my husband’s freedom.” The other Frenchman, sociologist Jean-Michel Seurat, is not Jewish.
The 39 American hostages freed yesterday include four men who were separated from the rest of the hostages shortly after the hijacking reportedly because they had “Jewish-sounding” names.
They were held separately from the others, reportedly by Shiite extremists who initially were not amenable to the mediating efforts of Berri. Great concern was expressed for their fate and anger was aroused in the American Jewish community some of whose leaders likened the separation to the selection of Jews for the gas chambers in Nazi death camps.
As it turned out, only two of the hijacked passengers with “Jewish-sounding” names are Jewish — Michael Brown, 27, of North Miami Beach, Fla. and Richard Herzberg, 33, of Norfolk, Va. A third, Robert Trautmann Jr., 37 of Laredo, Texas, is not Jewish. The fourth, Jeffrey Ingalls, 24, of Virginia Beach, Va., was separated because he served in the U.S. Navy, not because of his name.