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November 29, 1985 - Image 67

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-11-29

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

THE bEfil61TJEWISH NEWS Friday, November 29, 1985

HAPPY
CHANUKAH

COMMENT

Achille Lauro's Lesson
Sinks In For Some

FROM YOUR FRIENDLY
GREAT SCOTT SUPERMARKET
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME 4:43 P.M.

BY VICTOR BIENSTOCK
Special to The Jewish News

The lesson of the Achille Lauro
people, it would take extraordi-
- • is beginning to sink into the con-
nary courage on Hussein's part to
sciousness of the chancellories of
negotiate directly with the Is-
the Western world. Our states-
raelis without Arafat's blessing.
men and stategists are at last be-
But several realities have be-
ginning to understand that if they
come clear in the aftermath of the
run with Yassir Arafat and his
Achille Lauro hijacking, the Wall
Palestine Liberation Organiza-
Street Journal pointed out edito-
tion, they run with terrorists and
rially. "The first is that the PLO is
engage in a fruitless search for
not the key to peace in the Middle
peace through violence.
East. The past, long-running de-
By his martyrdom, Leon Klin-
bate among individuals about
ghoffer, murdered in cold blood by
whether the PLO represents all
the terrorists, may once and for all
Palestinians, is water over the
have shattered any remaining
dam. The Palestinian people are
hopes that peace can be attained
sympathetic people with real
through negotiations with Arafat
grievances, but the PLO as a
and his PLO.
productive political actor by any-
"Violence does not create
one's measure is washed up. It is
peace," Richard von Weizsacker,
finished."
the West German president, told a
The loss of PLO status even
Jerusalem audience in a sadly
within the Arab states was re-
under-reported speech a few days
flected in Tunisia, where 82-
before the hijacking of the Italian
year-old President Habib Bour-
cruise liner. "Nor can its condem-
guiba was insisting that the PLO
nation accomplish this (peace). It
be required to move its headquar-
can only serve as a reminder that
ters out of the country on the
peace is the goal."
grounds that it was a continuing
Ta those who cannot think of
source of trouble for the country.
the West German Republic with-
Bourguiba has refused to re-
., out remembering the tragedy and
ceive Arafat since the Achille
anguish of the Hitler era, it is not
Lauro hijacking but most of his
always easy to remember that the
cabinet — and his wife, who is a
Bonn Government, from the days
political power in her own right —
of Konrad Adenauer to the pre-
oppose his stand and call for a
sent, regardless of what party was
cooling of relations with the
in power, stands alone among the
United States to show continued
major nations of the world in its
displeasure over the American
refusal to traffic in arms with the
failure to disapprove the Israeli
countries of the Middle East.
bombing raid on the PLO head-
West Germany alone, despite
quarters outside Tunis.
the enormous pressures from its
In Egypt, the hijacking con-
armaments industry and threats
fronted President Hosni Mubarak
from would-be customers like
with the most volatile crisis of his
Saudi Arabia, its major oil
presidency. His personal probity
supplier, has refused to sell arms
was brought under question by
to the Arab countries while Brit-
his insistence that the four ter-
ain and France have been compet-
rorists had escaped Egypt before
ing desperately for Middle East
the murder of an American
markets even as the former main-
passenger on the liner had been
tained an embargo on arms for Is-
known, a statement which later
rael.
was proved false.
Now though, it appears other
Mubarak faced a choice of
countries may finally be falling in
weakening his domestic position
step with the West Germans.
and his efforts to regain Egypt's
Whether Britain acted out of
position in the Arab League on
disgust over the piracy-
the one hand, and jeopardizing
hijacking-murder exploit of a
American support and sympathy
PLO faction when it cancelled the
along with the American aid of
meeting between the British
about $2.5 billion this year. Ap-
Foreign Secretary and two Pales-
parently, he chose to risk the
tinians prominently identified
American relationship in the be-
with the PLO, or whether it
lief that he could mend bridges
reacted to the expressions of out-
with Washington later whereas
rage by the newspapers which
the loss of control of the Egyptian
were among Prime Minister Mar-
masses would be fatal.
garet Thatcher's strongest sup-
He is not, consequently, moti-
porters is moot. What is signific-
vated solely by wounded pride and
ant is that the British govern-
love of Arafat. He still considers
ment publicly refused to deal with
Arafat the key to Egypt's reentry
PLO members who refused to sign
into the comity of Arab nations,
a statement renouncing violence just as Hussein formerly consid-
and recognizing Israel's right to
ered Arafat the evil he had to bear.
exist.
The only interested party who
had not learned the lesson of the
King Hussein had assured the
Achille Lauro is Yassir Arafat
British that the two Palestinians
himself. For years he has relied on
Mrs. Thatcher had invited would
violence — against Israel, against
sign such a declaration. Their re-
Jews and against Arabs who did
fusal to do so gave England an
not agree with his tactics. It has
excuse to escape from a diplomati-
not achieved its goal. More than
cally embarrasing situation. It
any other single terrorist act —
remained, however, not only a
perhaps because it was just one
setback in the current maneuvers
too many for the world to swallow
of the Hussein peace initiative,
— the hijacking of the Achille
but a prime embarrassment to the
Lauro and the senseless murder
Jordanian ruler.
that marked it may spell the be-
Since the Arab League has
ginning of the end of Yassir
designated the PLO as sole repre-
Arafat and the PLO.
sentative of the Palestinian

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