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Jewish Leaders Call for Decisive Action to End Scourge of Terrorism


Leading Jewish organizations this weakend urged governments around the world to take decisive action against terrorists and called for punishment of nations which provide refuge to terrorists.

At a special press conference today, Kenneth Bialkin, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued a hard-hitting statement saying that the Palestinian terrorist war “against the travelling public requires urgent action by the international community. The indiscriminate terror in Rome and Vienna reflects a barbarism and a primitive mentality which cannot be reached by reason or the rule of law.”


He outlined eight steps that must be taken to end the scourge of terrorism:

“Serve notice that support for the PLO and other Palestinian terror groups must end. Saudi Arabia must end its payments of extortion which finances this grotesque machine; Jordan must close the PLO bases it has sanctioned; Tunisia must expel the PLO forces who train and plan; Syria and Iraq must terminate their maintenance of PLO factions; Libya must be called to account.

“Diplomatic support must cease; the PLO observer delegation to the UN must be expelled and their offices in New York closed. France, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and other European countries must withdraw their recognition and diplomatic support from the PLO. PLO offices in those countries should be shut.

“Countries which give sanctuary or free passage to known murderers must be warned that consequences will follow their craven act. Egypt and Yugoslavia, for example, must not be free to repeat their abetting the flight of the murderers of the Achille Lauro.

“Leaders must be extradited and brought to justice — damage suits by victims must be heard and enforced in courts of law — and victims compensated by the PLO.

“Diplomatic and economic sanctions must be taken against those countries who fail to cooperate in an international program to combat terrorism and deny sanctuary to leaders and followers of the PLO. For example, aircraft landing rights might be denied to countries which support terrorism by diplomatic or financial means.

“World opinion must be mobilized against the deception and deceit of Palestinian radicals who clothe their cause in the language of freedom and human rights but whose real message and cause is conquest and rejection of peaceful coexistence with Israel.

“We support Secretary of State Shultz in his rejection of any political justification for terrorist acts, and we call upon the United Nations and the nations of the free world to develop a program of action which goes beyond the welcome words of condemnation of terrorism.

“Sadly, but necessarily, so long as the rule of law cannot cope with terrorism, the right and duty of national sovereignty and protection must be recognized to take action against those responsible for terrorist acts.

“Our Ambassador to the United Nations should call for an emergency session of the UN Security Council to censure Libya and Syria for their continuing support of terrorists in violation of recently adopted General Assembly and Security Council resolutions condemning terrorism.”

The PLO in its various factions and groups have placed themselves outside the community of decent peoples and “must be sanctioned by the world community,” Bialkin told the press conference.

He declared, “It is not enough to say that the murderers should be brought to justice. They are only the tools, the fanatic fools who carry out the orders that are fashioned in Damascus, in Tripoli, in Amman, in Baghdad and in Tunis. It is the leaders and planners who must be brought to justice and called to account for their crimes against innocent civilians.” Continuing, Bialkin said:

“Unfortunately, rhetoric will not stop them. Those nations which decry violence and terrorism while at the same time supporting the political aims of the PLO give a double message which, in effect, encourages repetition of those outrages. So-called moderate Arab states like Jordan and Tunisia provide bases for recruitment and training of terrorists; Saudi Arabia provides them funding; Egypt gives them sanctuary and protection; Syria and Libya arm them and launch their depredations. Iraq provides bases and arms.

“Western democracies give them support and respect by diplomatic recognition and by permitting them to have offices. Greece, Spain, Italy, Austria, and France have cordial diplomatic links; Turkey and Cyprus give them diplomatic status; the UN grants them observer status and the Soviets provide support and arms. Terrorism is encouraged by UN condemnations of Israel and by the failure to react to outrages …. The decent people of the world can no longer permit this double standard.”


Gerald Kraft, president of B’nai B’rith, declared that “the time has come for all nations to stop coddling and being cowed by — terrorists.” He said that the attacks in Rome and Vienna were “the inevitable result of Italy’s indecisive dealing” with the hijackers of the Achille Lauro cruise ship, which could only encourage new acts of terrorism. What happened last Friday, Kraft added, “was the inevitable result.”

Abraham Foxman, associate national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, said the attacks “leave us with a greater urgency to achieve concerted international action against terrorists and those who would abet them. We must begin by engaging in a worldwide offensive against terrorism. No legitimacy can be given to those involved. No nation which provides refuge should go unpunished.”


David Gordis, executive vice president of the American Jewish Committee, called upon “those of our European allies who have adopted a policy of appeasement toward Arab-instigated terrorism to end, once and for all, this senseless course of action. These nations must examine their own responsibility for this latest outrage.”

Rabbi William Berkowitz, president of the American Jewish Heritage Foundation, urged President Reagan, in a cable, that an “immediate world summit conference of the free world nations be convened at the highest levels in order to….make clear western resolve against terror, to coordinate methods of security and ways of combatting terror, and must resolve to pressure those nations which support terrorism, or play hosts to terrorist leaders to do so no more.”

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