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July 08, 1983 - Image 64

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-07-08

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64 Friday, ,/ 8, 1983


Yasir Arafat, Israel's Critics and American Principles


National Institute
of the Holocaust

plight of Yasir Arafat is
amply covered by the news-
papers, but his apologists
around the world are
strangely silent. For some of
them the problem is that the
Soviets have been unable to
take a public position as yet.
When "the Zionists" and
"the Zionist state" alone
could be blamed they had no
difficulty. On hatred of the
Jews and the Jewish state
they could readily agree,
whether fellow-travelers to
Russian Communism or
"Third World" sentimen-
They could even agree in
blaming Israel for the mas-
sacres in the Sabra and
Shatila camps — while the
real perpetrators were im-
mune to criticism, and more
recently exonerated by the
Lebanese "commission of
But what is to be said

and done while the Rus-
sians try to decide be-
tween support for their
Syrian satrapy and their
terrorist tool Arafat?
All during the IDF police
action against the PLO
training camps in Lebanon
they were univocal in their
support of Arafat. Arafat,
who had made many trips to
Moscow himself, was during
that action in constant con-
tact — by wire, by couriers,
by diplomatic teams — with
his real headquarters.
When Andropov assumed
power he immediately is-
sued a statement of support
for Arafat.
But the scene changed
when the Syrian invaders of
Lebanon dug in, refused to
leave (or even discuss leav-
ing as part of a general set-
tlement), and set out to con-
trol the PLO forces. Syria,
which invaded Lebanon at
the time of the 1975-1976
civil war, has always held
that Lebanon has no right to
exist, that it is in fact part of
"Greater Syria."

- —
Now, through the weak-
ness of the American and
West European foreign pol-
icy at the time the PLO
infra-structure in Lebanon
was shattered, the Syrian
dictatorship has seen its
chance to implement its
traditional claims to Leba-
The initiative, which at
the time the PLO was
rooted out of west Beirut
was entirely in the hands


of the Americans and
their allies, has now
passed again to the Rus-
sians. They have a
chance again to thwart
the peace-making proc-
ess initiated through the
Camp David accords. So
far they have been un-
able to spring Egypt
loose, but great pressure
is still being applied.

The Russian initiative is
temporarily thwarted by
indecision. Shall Arafat be
salvaged? Or is the rebel-
lion of the hard-liners,
amply aided by money and
equipment through Syria,
the best .bet for regaining
momentum in the Russian
plan of expansion toward
the oil fields of the Near

Saudi Arabia and Jordan,
heralded as "moderates" by
our appeasement experts in
and around the State De-
partment, have refused to
take even the slightest in-
itiative to expand the
peace-making process.
Thatcher's firing of the ap-
peasement expert, Francis
Pym, may in time turn
British foreign policy in a
better direction. But so far
the allies in NATO are still
muddled. For example, a
debate is now raging in the
West German press about a
possible arms deal with
Saudi Arabia.

When this decision has
fallen we shall again hear
clear voices from the ap-
peasement crowd, the
Communist fellow-
travelers, and the useful
idiots who sentimentalize
about the "poor Palesti-
nians." But how silent
they now are! — all those
who rushed to greet the
"revolutionary" (read:
"medieval") new gov-
ernment in Iran, a gov-
ernment now busy
slaughtering helpless
Baha'is. How silent they
now are! — all those who,
until the present confu-
sion, were so vocal in de-

fending Arafat and at-
tacking Israel ...
Fortunately, Israel has
leadership which has long
since assessed PLO ter-
rorism and Russian expan-
sionism for what it is.
American independence,
which we celebrate in this
season, was not primarily
important for national rea-
sons. The Founding Fathers
justified the break from
Britain reluctantly, having
been driven to the conclu-
sion that it was the only
path to re-affirm their
commitment to liberty and
self-government. In making
that choice they made a
statement about the nature
of legitimate government.
A legitimate government
is one that respects the will
of the people and protects
the liberty, integrity and
dignity of individuals and
minority groups. Such indi-
viduals and groups need
protection from the unre-
strained will of the major-
ity, especially when they
stand up against the mobs.

Joint Nazi-Palestinian Plan to Poison Tel Aviv Water in 1944?

Michael Bar-Zohar and
Eitan Haber, two experi-
enced Israeli journalists,
make the claim in a recently
published book that Pales-
tinian Arab terrorists and
Nazi agents parachuted
into the Jordan Valley area
in November 1944 with
enough poison to kill the
250,000 Jewish residents of
Tel Aviv.
Bar-Zohar and Haber say
in their documentary 'study
of Israel's fight against ter-
rorism, "The Quest For The
Red Prince," (Morrow) that
the two Palestinians in-
volved in the plot were Haj
Amin el Husseini, the
Grand Mufti of Jerusalem,
and Hassan Salameh, the
man who took over the lead-
ership of the Palestinian
Arabs in 1948.
The plot to murder Tel
Aviv's Jewish population
was hatched in Berlin by
the mufti, whose hatred of
Jews and Zionism led him
into an unholy alliance with
the Nazis. Husseini was in-
vited to Berlin by Hitler
after a short stay in war-
time Italy.

The mufti was feted by
the Nazi authorities,
given a commodious
residential suite in the
Bellevue Palace and in-
troduced not only to the
Fuehrer but to other Nazi
bigwigs — including
Adolf Eichmann.
Of the latter, the mufti
said: "I discovered a price-
less pearl by the name of

Eichmann, however,
turned down Husseini's re-
quest to act as an adviser on
Jewish affairs as the man
who was responsible for the
shipping of Jews to the con-
centration camps.
Accordingly, Husseini
busied himself with sup-
porting the Nazi war effort
against the allies by helping
to organize SS units drawn
from Yugoslavian Muslim
By 1944 the mufti had
persuaded the Nazis of
the need to make a
dramatic move in the
Mideast, a theater of war
in which the Germans
had suffered bad re-
verses. _
In November of that year
Salameh, the mufti's Pales-
tinian associate in Berlin,
and a legendary figure
among the Palestinian
Arabs during the revolts of
1936 and 1939, returned to
Palestine along with sev-
eral Nazi agents, one of
whom had been born in the
German colony in
Jerusalem, to plan the
poisoning of the Tel Aviv
water supply.
The plan was not carried
to fruition because of a
series of mishaps including
the loss of several caches of
gold coins which the ter-
rorists were going to use for
negotiating purposes. When
the coins began to show up
in Arab market places in-
vestigations were launched
by the British police and
ended up with the arrest of
the Nazi agents in a cave in
the Judean desert.

Bar-Zohar and Haber re-
late that Salameh skillfully
eluded capture and disap-
peared completely from
sight. At the conclusion of
the Second World War the
mufti succeeded in avoiding
capture and, through the
use of several disguises,
made his way to Austria
and then on to Switzerland.
When the Swiss refused
to grant him political
asylum, the mufti pro-
ceeded on to France
where he was arrested by
French gendarmes.
After a short period of in-
carceration at the
Cherche-Midi prison, Hus-
seini was released. The Is-
raeli journalists reveal here
for the first time that the
release was ordered by Gen-
eral De Gaulle himself. The
reason behind De Gaulle'a
intervention? The mufti
was seen as an important
asset in France's North Af-
rican policy. In France he
was under special Surete
From France and mufti
made his way back to the
Mideast and set lip his
headquarters in Lebanon.
His faithful subordinate
Salameh surfaced again in
1947, the day after the
United Nations partition
resolution was promul-
On Nov. 3, bus No. 2094
left the central station in
Tel Aviv for a two hour trip
to Jerusalem. Near the
Arab village of Feja the bus
was attacked and almost
every passenger was mur-
dered. The leader of the

Arab band was the same
Salameh who had planned
the poisoning of Tel Aviv.

In their historical sur-
vey journalists Bar-
Zohar and Haber relate
that Salameh's son, born
shortly after his father's
death in 1948, took on the
mantle of leadership
after the disastrous de-
feat of the Arabs in 1967.
By the early 1970s the
new All Hassan Salameh
had become Yasir
Arafat's "adopted son,"
and the commander of
the PLO's Black .Sep-
tember terrorist group.
Salameh junior began to

orchestrate a series of
bloodthirsty attacks
against Israeli airliners,
consulates and ordinary
Jewish and Israeli citizens.

In response to this un-
precedented terrorist
menace, the government of
Golda Meir authorized a
counter - terrorism cam-
paign which saw Israeli
agents track down and liq-
uidate virtually every Arab
involved in the killing of Is-
ral's Olympic team.

Their most elusive target,
Salameh, however, man-
aged to resist detection and
from his Lebanese reddubt
grew in stature. His mar-

riage to a Miss Universe
augmented his aura of
Bar-Zohar and Haber
claim that Salameh's in-
fatuation with karate fi-
nally led to his detection.
An Israeli agent, having
made the rounds of all the
karate instructors in Be-
irut recognized Salameh
one_day in the sauna. In
1979 Salameh's car blew
up with him inside of it.
The story has a poignant
if disquieting ending.
Salameh's son, who bears
the same name as the
father, has been dedicated,
by his mother, to the Pales-
tinian revolution.

Diversity Marks Belgian Jews

ANTWERP—The Jewish
traveler to Antwerp has no
problem whatsoever in find-
ing the Jewish community.
Head for the streets
"Pelikaanstraat," or
"Hovenierstratt," and you'll
find synagogues, book
stores, restaurants, kosher
bakeries and of course,
diamond stores.
There is no doubt that the
Jews of Antwerp are very
tightly-knit. They live to-
gether. They work together.
They pray together. After
all, about 90 percent of the
Jewish population of 13,000
are involved in the diamond
In effect, Antwerp always
has been "a Jewish city." As
one Jewish leader put it,
"the non-Jews of Antwerp
'are so used to living with
Jews, they don't see them."
But Jews are very visi-
ble in this metropolis of
merchants on the River
Scheldt; a city which is
world port, a mecca of art
lovers, and a city of con-
Antwerp is a cultural city
with 20 museums. For in-
stance, paintings by

Reubens, Jordaens, Van
Dyck can be found in
the Royal Art Gallery.
Then, there is Reubens
House itself, which com-
prises the great artist
studios and which draws
many natives and tourists.
There is a National
Maritime Museum, for so
much of this nation depends
on the sea. There is a unique
open air museum of
sculpture and which in-
cludes pieces by Rodin, Re-
noir and Moore.
In Antwerp, Jewish life is
meaningful. There are more
Hasidim here than in any
city in Europe; five or six
different sects.
Antwerp is the center of
the world-wide diamond in-
dustry. Dealers report that
since the Israeli invasion of
Lebanon in 1982, some Is-
raelis have left the diamond
exchange in their homeland
(Israel is also considered a
leader in the diamond
trade) for Antwerp.
Among .the half-dozen
kosher and deli restau-
rants in Antwerp, one
can be found on the floor
of the diamond exchange
that is open only to mem-
bers and their guests.

The Jews of Antwerp ap-
pear ready to pass their
religious fervor on to the
next generation. Nearly 90
percent of the Jewish chil-
dren living in the city go to
Jewish day schools or
yeshivot. The city's Jewish
community center, known
as the Romi Goldmuntz
Center, boasts a library,
meeting rooms, a catering
hall, sports facilities and a
kosher snack bar.

The Jewish community in
Brussels, which numbers
more than twice the 13,000
Jews of Antwerp, presents a
marked difference in its
religious outlook. The
30,000 Jews in Brussels are
spread out and live in var-
ious parts of the city. They
are more apt to be profes-
sionals, rather than sales-
The Jewish community in
Brussels is more politically
involved in Belgium and al-
though are strong backers
of Israel, they are not afraid
to voice differences of opin-
ion with the Begin govern-
ment's policies. In
Antwerp, you will find ar-
dent support for the Herut

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