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February 13, 1981 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-02-13

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

12 Friday, February 13, 1981

Kreisky the Middleman in PLO's Ploy With U.S. Hostages in Iran

(Continued from Page 1)
ernment — Kreisky — particularly anxious that
had to use private chan- Carter make the request,
nels instead of the reg- Lipschutz reported, ex-
ular diplomatic machin- plaining that "this would be
ery to convey his mes- meaningful to the PLO be-
cause it would be a visible
sage.
of the
U.S. and was
the
Lipschutz went to Vienna example
with him."
Kreisky
where Kreisky assured him PLO acting as 'partners' in
that if anyone could per- solving a Middle East prob-
suade Khomeini to release lem and it wouuld demon-
the hostages, that person strate that the PLO was
was Arafat" and the United necessary to solve a Middle
States "should do business East problem."

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Kreisky then put Lip-
schutz in contact with Dr.
Herbert Amry, Austrian
ambassador to Lebanon-. "If
Arafat and the PLO play a
part in getting the hostages
released," Amry told Lip-
schutz without any dip-
lomatic nicety, "there would
have to be something-in it
for them."
Because of American
pledges to Israel on dealing
with the PLO, Lipschutz
and an associate flew to Is-
rael to test the reaction
there. They were warned
that "any quid pro quo ap-
proach to the PLO, even re-
lating to the Iranian hos-
tage matter, would be a
serious indication to the Is-
raelis that the United
States did not have suffi-
cient resolve to fulfill its
commitments," the former
White House aide reported.
President Carter re-
jected the Kreisky pro-
posal. He never revealed
the action publicly al-
though Lipschutz argues
that it might have
boosted his re-election
chances. It might have
secured- Carter more
votes among American
Jews but there was cer-
tainly a greater possibil-
ity that the episode would
be taken to mean that
Carter had bowed to the
Israelis on a matter in-
volving the hostages, and
thus have
alienated many more
voters.
It is difficult to under-
stand why Lipschutz con-
sidered the Kreisky-'PLO
offer "very enticing," as he --
described it, and it is more
than likely that Carter
turned it down for the sim-
ple reason that he didn't be-
lieve that Arafat could or
would do anything. But as a
matter of record, on Nov. 6,
two days after the hostages
had been taken,the PLO
had already promised
openly to intercede and an-
nounced that a PLO delega-
tion would be on its way to
Teheran within 24 hours as
"a unilateral action" on be-
half of the captives. "Our
only concern is for the
human lives involved," the
PLO spokesman solemnly
announced.
A PLO delegation actu-
ally flew to Teheran, as. did
a Syrian team, but in three
days they accomplished
nothing and could not even
get in to see Khomeini.
Zehdi Labib Terzi, the
accredited PLO observer at
the United Nations, told a
press conference on Nov. 9
that "Chairman Arafat has
personally been in touch
with the authorities in Iran
and we should expect some
news in the morning, Tehe-
ran time." The good news
was somewhat delayed; it
came 335 long days and
nights later and then with-
out any help from Yasir
Arafat.
If Arafat and the PLO did
make any effort to help, the
Iranians spurned their in-
tervention but it is much
more likely that no at-
tempts were made. Chan-
cellor Kreisky's phone call

giving them in Ambassador dissection by contemporary
to his New York inter-
mediary was made on Nov. Amry's explicit words, the historians and political sci-
7, a day after the Arafat in- "something in it" they entists.
sought. Kreisky was eager
tervention proclaimed by
to do the bargaining as the
Terzi. Three days after the
Kreisky call, Hani Hassan, , middleman putting the deal
head of the PLO office in together.
Bruno Kreisky, the
Teheran — by now comfort-
would-be middleman, is an
ably established in the con-
fiscated Israel embassy — enigma in 20th Century
flatly declared that "the politics and a fit subject for
PLO is not an intermediary
between Iran and America
. . . Any victory by the Ira-
nian nation over the influ-
,F
ence of American im-
COLOR
perialism should be consid-
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