When Dr. Morton Freiman, a North Miami Beach plastic surgeon; arrived in Israel last December 6, he was there for a simcha — his sister-in -law’s wedding. But he learned that afternoon that a bus had been blown up by terrorists in Jerusalem and one of the bridesmaids had been injured.
“When I visited her in the hospital, the look in her eyes made an impression on me,” Freiman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The bus, No. 18, was the same line that his 18-year-old daughter, an art student in Jerusalem, uses every day.
Freiman said he knew he had to do something. That something was to mount an exhibit to make the American public aware of the atrocities committed by the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The exhibit opened Friday at the B’nai B’rith’s international headquarters here, under the co-sponsorship of a committee formed by Freiman. PLOT, an organization of private citizens publicizing the terrorist activites of the PLO, and the D.C-Mary-land regional office of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. It is expected to be shown in other parts of the country, too.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EXHIBIT
The highlight’s of the exhibit are two fragments Freiman obtained from the bombed bus. One is a piece of the bus front and the other is the number box of the bus with a skirt embedded in it which apparently had been blown into the box during the explosion.
The exhibit also includes items that had been used to conceal terrorist bombs, which Freiman obtained on loan from the Israeli police, the first time they have been allowed to leave Israel. They include a woman’s shoe with a hollowed-out heel, a candy box, a toy telephone, a cigarette carton, a wine bottle, a paint can, as well as some items that were torn apart during terrorist incidents.
The exhibit also includes a blown-up picture of terrorist activities in Israel and elsewhere, including the December 6 bus bombing in which the two items Freiman has on display can be seen.
Freiman stressed that he organized the exhibit without any help from the governments in Israel as in the United States. He said the items were shipped here in a crate by his brother-in-law. The cost of the exhibit was $20,000 which was raised by Freiman and the other members of the committee.
At the opening ceremony Friday, Dr. Robert Wolf of Miami, co-chairman of PLOT, said the purpose of the exhibit is to “attack terror by public opinion and inspire others to do the same.”
U.S. TO RESPOND TO TERRORIST ACTS
Marshall Breger, President Reagan’s special assistant for liaison with the Jewish community, said that “no one who goes through this exhibit can any more harbor the illusion, if not the delusion, that the PLO can call itself a moderate organization.”
He noted that Reagan in his speech to the National United Jewish Appeal Young Leadership Conference last Tuesday, condemned Yasir Arafat and the PLO “by name” for the attack on the bus. He said the Administration is preparing means of responding to terrorist acts which will be presented to Congress soon.
Victor Harel, the Israel Embassy’s press counselor, said the exhibit may help “those who don’t suffer terrorism directly” to “understand better” what Israelis go through. He called PLO terrorism the “worst disease” in the world, noting it was aimed only at civilians.
“It as the kind of terrorism that prompted our action in Lebanon,” Harel said. “We can no longer tolerate” the intolerable.”
Sen. Paula Hawkins (R. Fla.) said that “if every act of terrorism is universally condemned by governments and the public alike, the terrorists will realize that no cause, no idea, no ideology, will gain support or sympathy.” Instead, she noted, “their acts will be counter-productive” if “we speak out and let our feelings be known.”
Hawkins expressed the hope that “the PLO will cease to exist. It has brought the Palestinians further away from the realization of their dreams. Palestinian hopes depend on realistic pragmatic leadership that can negotiate and comprise and finally achieve peace in the Middle East.”
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.