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Jewish Leader Urges That Terrorism Be Declared an International Crime

The executive head of the American Jewish Committee urged that terrorism be declared “an international crime” no matter what the political agenda behind it.

Speaking to the agency’s National Executive Council, which concluded its annual meeting yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Miami Hotel here, David Gordis asserted that “we guarantee success to the terrorists” when the world gives “center stage” to their political agenda rather than to the murderous deeds.

In underlining his warning, Gordis, AJC’s executive vice president, pointed to two recent events: the Achille Lauro hijacking and Israel’s strike against a terrorist attack by hitting PLO headquarters in Tunis.

On the Achille Lauro affair: “The world proclaims its opposition to terrorism. How then to explain the eagerness of the two governments most directly involved–Italy, whose record of internal terrorism has been so good; and Egypt, a friend of the U.S. and at peace with Israel — to return perpetrators of that piracy and murder to their terrorist masters and free the architect of the entire plot? And then the ultimate absurdity — to demand apologies from the U.S. for finally taking strong, resolute action against terrorism!”

On Israel’s attack on PLO headquarters in Tunis: “The PLO states its goal to be the destruction of the State of Israel, and declares its right to attack all Jews and Zionists anywhere in the world. But when Israel strikes back against a terrorist attack by hitting the PLO headquarters in Tunis, it is condemned for that strike, even by its friends, who argue that the attack violates Tunisian sovereignty.”

“Such responses,” Gordis went on, “are dangerous not only because they egg the terrorists on to greater and greater outrages, but because they shift the precarious center and drive the moderates and would-be moderates in the direction of extremism.”

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