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February 01, 1980 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-02-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

38 Friday, Febrsaty 1, 1980 — THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Palestinian Terrorist Case Reveals Collaboration

ROME (JTA) — Seven-
year prison sentences pro-
nounced here on three
former members of Parlia-
ment and a Jordanian busi-
nessman for collaborating
with Palestine terrorists, of-
ficially closed a case that
had been shrouded in mys-

F

-L412

tery since the arrests were
made last November.
But it opened to public
scrutiny an unsavory record
of Italian government ap-
peasement of Palestinian
terrorist groups since the
early 1970s. Ironically, one
of the chief authors of that

_J7411c117 117 0

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--

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policy was the late Aldo
Mom, leader of the Chris-
tian Democratic Party, who
was himself murdered by
terrorists.
The relatively mild
prison terms were given to
Daniele Pifano, Sergio
Baumgartner, Luciano
Nieri and Abu Salgh Han-
zek, the latter a Jordanian
citizen of Palestinian ori-
gin.
They were convicted
on charges of "detention
and transport of arms of
war" when they agreed to
act as go-betweens for
George Habash's Popu-
lar Front for the Libera-
tion of Palestine (PFLP).
Their specific offense
was the reception of two
Strela ground-to-air mis-
siles that were off-loaded
from the freighter Sidon
at the Adriatic coastal
town of Ortona last Nov.
7.
The vessel had arrived
from a Middle Eastern port,
presumably in Lebanon.
The defendants were ac-
quitted of the more serious
charge of "importing arms
of war."
The court took into con-
sideration a letter written
by the PFLP to their
lawyers attesting that the
missiles were "in transit"
and that their final destina-
tion was "not Italy." The

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missiles were of the same
type used by Palestinian
terrorists in an attempt-to
shoot down an El Al plane
over Ostia, near Rome, in
September 1973.
ex-
The three
Parliamentarians were all
members of the left-wing
"Autonomy" political
group. Abu Salgh, a gar-
ment industry executive,
had connections with the
PFLP in Bologna.
Baumgartner, an X-ray
technician at the Univer-
sity of Rome Hospital, had
been active in the past or-
ganizing the transportation •
of medical items to Palesti-
nian refugee camps. His
name was found in Abu
Salgh's address book.
The connection of the Ita-
lian extremists with
Habash's group was re-
vealed only after the PFLP's
letter was made public by
their defense attorneys.
This led to an expose in
the Italian press of what
had been an open secret in
some circles — the Italian
government's collaboration
with Palestinian terrorists
since 1972 — when a series
of terrorist acts were occur-
ring on Italian soil.
Gen. Vito Miceli, former
chief of the Italian secret
service (SID) revealed de-
tails of this collaboration in
an interview published in
the weekly L'Espresso. "At
that time (1972) there was
the danger of Palestinian
terrorism, an exceptional
means," Miceli said.
"On the basis of precise
orders by the government,
of which all ministers were
informed, we contacted the
various Palestinian groups
and made arrangements
whose purpose was to avoid
(terrorist) attempts that
would involve Italy."
The person who repre-
sented the Italian
authorities in these
negotiations over the last
eight years is Col. Stefano
Giovannoni, a diplomat
stationed in Beirut.
Giovannoni was men-
tioned by Moro, in letters
written during his captivity
by the Red Brigade ter-
rorists, as the ideal man to
bargain for his release.
Mom was the head of the
Italian Foreign Ministry
when "deals" with the
Palestinian terrorists were
made and it was under his
direction that all Palesti-
nians detained in Italian
jails were eventually freed.
These included two ter-
rorists who had attempted
to down the El Al plane.
They were secretly flown
out of the country on an Ita-
lian military aircraft which
exploded mysteriously on
its way back to Italy, killing
its crew.
Similarly, five other ter-
rorists arrested in posses-
sion of Strela missiles in
1973 were released on pay-
ment of 60 million lire bail
and flown to Algiers accom-
panied by an official of the
SID, presumably Antonio
La Bruna.
In his letters from cap-
tivity, Moro pleaded with
his own Christian Demo-

crat Party to follow the
example of past govern-
ments that compromised
with Palestinian ter-
rorists in order to save
his own life. But the gov-
ernment and the Chris-
tian Democrats took a
hard line in the Moro case
which proved fatal to
him.
L'Espresso observed that
the latest "missiles case"
revealed three facts of
prime importance: "This is
the first time a Palestinian
organization (PFLP) has of-
ficially admitted importing
arms into Europe and hav-
ing ties with Italian ex-
tremists; it is the first time
that there has been no at-
tempt by the Italian gov-
ernment to hide the fact
that a non-aggression pact
(probably verbal) exists be-
tween the Italian secret
service and Palestinian
groups, involving hands-off
planes and Italian air space
in return for benevolent as-
sistance by Italy to the
Palestinian cause; and this
is the first time the Italian
government has admitted
some of these facts."
Observers here say the
case must be viewed in
terms of the closer official
relationship of the Italian
government with the Pales-
tine Liberation Organiza-
tion which "supposedly"
does not include the PFLP,
and the shifting oil power
interests in the confused
Middle East situation.

Sweden to Teach
Students About
Holocaust Era

NEW YORK — The
Swedish Jewish community
has projected a broad-based
educational program on the
Holocaust that it hopes to
have integrated into Swe-
den's general school system.
The projected program
would:
• Enlarge understand-
ing among Swedish public
opinion and in the school
system of the Jewish cause
and of the dangers of neo-
Nazism;
• Stress the permanent
moral and political lessons
to be learned from the
Holocaust, including the
link between the Holocaust
and Israel's right to exist;
• Inform pupils about the
history of the Jews in Swe-
den and about Judaism in
general.
A program carried out
during the past year coin-
cided with showing on
Swedish television of the
American TV serial,
"Holocaust." The report
points out that the educa-
tional and other materials
produced had a tremendous
impact on Swedish students
and on public opinion gen-
erally in the country.

Among the sources of
those innumerable
calamities which from age
to age have overwhelmed
mankind, may be reckoned
as one of the principal, the
abuse of words.

Treasure Hunt —Israeli Style

TEL AVIV — Israeli pri-
vate investigators have
been searching the Sinai
desert for an improbable
buried treasure —140 Mer-
cedes Benz cars believed
stolen in Israel and waiting
to be dug up and smuggled
to Egypt.
Shmuel Flatto-Sharon, a
member of Israel's parlia-
ment claims that the cars
are buried in the Sinai
sands on the Israeli side of
the border, waiting to be
dug up and sold when the
area is turned back to
Egypt.
Flatto-Sharon, who be-
lieves his own Mercedes is
among those buried, has re-
nted a helicopter and four
jeeps to hunt for the buried
vehicles around the dunes
near El Arish. Police and Is-
raeli soldiers have already
dug up 32 automobiles in
the area.
According to Flatto-
Sharon's secretary, Zvi
Videlr, the thieves, both
Arabs and Israelis, drive
the cars to Gaza with fake

Holocaust Study

NEW YORK (JTA) —
Zachor, the Holocaust Re-
source Center of the Na-
tional Jewish Resource
Center, has received a fed-
eral grant of $69,000 for the
assessment of five secon-
dary school Holocaust cur-
riculums, according to Dr.
Mary Glynn, assistant di-
rector of Zachor.
The schools in the study
are in New York, Philadel-
phia and Massachusetts.

Gaza registration plates.
There they sell them to
local Bedouin Arabs,
familiar with the pathless
sands of the area, who
take them off for burial.
Police sources say that
traffic in stolen goods across
the border is huge; includ-
ing items such as linens,
television sets, and even
foreign currency.

ZOA President
Criticizes U.S
on Israel Stand

NEW YORK — Ivan J.
Novick, president of the
130,000-member Zionist
Organization of America, in
a major address to the
members of its national
executive committee, ex-
pressed reservations re-
garding what appears to be
"good understanding" be-
tween the Administration
and Israel in relation to
basic issues.
"In spite of all the
rhetoric, there are funda-
mental differences between
the United States and the
state of Israel that have not
been reconciled."
Said Novick, "I am con-
cerned that powerful influ-
ences in the Administration
are urging that Israel be
placed in a lower level of
priority although, develop-
ments in the Middle East
and surrounding areas dic-
tate that the United States'
interests would be best
served by enhancing Is-
rael's position as a strong
and dependable ally."

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