Independent Presidential candidate John Anderson today blamed the series of attacks on the French Jewish community, which culminated in the bomb blast outside a Paris synagogue Friday night, on “in-difference” to bigotry and hatred. Meanwhile, American Jewish organizations charged the attacks were a result of “appeasement” by France of the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization.
Anderson, in a statement issued by his Washington campaign headquarters to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, said that he and his Vice Presidential running mote Patrick Lucey “are saddened and angered by the recent spate of terrorist activities directed at the Jewish community of France.”
While extending his condolences to the victims and their friends, Anderson stressed that “beyond the sadness lies a sense of anger at the intolerance, viciousness and evil that produces such events and at the indifference with which such events are all too often greeted.”
The Illinois Republican Congressman said the “sense of outrage” is heightened because the Friday bombing was only part of a series of anti-Semitic events recently in France. “We live in an often violent world and many are tempted to ignore outbursts of bigotry and hatred, ” he said. “But we can never forget that indifference only encourages bigotry and provides a fertile ground for a poisonous harvest.”
In a cable to Alain de Rothschild, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Organizations in France, Howard Squdron, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and president of the American Jewish Congress, declared:
“We join your demand that the responsible French government authorities take immediate action not only to apprehend the perpetrators of this obscene attack but also to expunge the twin cancers of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism from the French body politic. We stand with you in this hour, knowing that we are one people sharing a single destiny. Am Yisrael Chai.”
Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Reform synagogue group, sent a cable to Rabbi Michael Williams, the rabbi of the Paris Reform synagogue, declaring: “We share with you the deep concern that the new Nazis who seek to destroy Jewish lives may have been encouraged by official laxity and inattention to the violent nature of the anti-Semitic movement in France.
“The French government’s willingness to accept the PLO as a legitimate party in the Middle East political scene, going so far as to urge that this band of assassins be ‘associated’ in future peace negotiations, must surely have emboldened the French counterparts of the PLO to engage in the same loathsome practices.”
URGES ROOTING OUR TERRORISTS
The World Union for Progressive Judaism, to which the Paris synagogue is affiliated, declared today that “Freedom loving people dare not be complacent in the face of terrorist bombings.” Gerald Daniel, the organization’s president, called for the mobilization of all who “cherish the Judaea-Christian ideals of Western civilization, to root out terrorists whatever their stripe, and bring them to justice.”
Maynard Wishner, president of the American Jewish Committee, in a cable to the Union Liberole Israelite, the Reform organization in France, declared: “We mourn and grieve with you after this murderous attack. History has taught us your wounds are ours. We fervently share your hope that the French people and police finally will seek far more actively to halt this series of crimes, so like others fresh in memory.”
OUTRAGE AGAINST ALL HUMANITY
Ivan Novick, president of the Zionist Organization of America, noted that “the crimes committed on the streets of Paris while directed against Jews are an outrage against all humanity.” He charged that “these acts of terrorism are encouraged by the continued acceptance of the French government and
Novick said that “these terrorist actions” should be a warning that appeasement of terrorism, no matter how disguised, contributes to the growth of anti-Semitism and to the insecurity of all free nations and undermines the moral fiber of the world community of which the democratic nations are its first victims.”
A similar charge was made by the Jewish Labor Committee which noted that during World War II it had helped rescue and assist scores of French underground labor leaders. “The acts of terrorism against Jews in France seems to be against the background of France’s appeasement of Arab terrorists,” Emanuel Muravchik, the JLC’s executive director, said. “This attitude has given aid and comfort to neo-Nazi elements.”
Muravchik said that “the leadership and financing of these terrorists and murderers should be of concern to every Frenchman who saw what appeasement and Maginot Line thinking can do to a nation.”
The Workmen’s Circle, meanwhile, has scheduled a rally at Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan for next Sunday to protest the anti-Semitic incidents in France. Dr. Israel Kruger the 60,000-member fraternal organization’s president, said that the French government should be held “responsible for the safety and freedom of all French Jewry.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.