P I B K OU
THE LESSON OF MUNICH
Responsibility for Terrorism Rests with
Arab Governments Encouraging, Supporting
and Harboring Murderers.
EMBASSY OF ISRAEL
September 14, 1972.
P 0 LI C
B A K GR 0 N
THE LESSON OF MUNICH
Throughout Tuesday, September 5, the civilized world
held its breath. Few can forget the anguish, the horror
and the tension of watching the drama of Munich moving to
its gruesome, murderous end. As the full impact of this
unprecedented crime against the international community
began to sink in, the American nation along with others
in the free world raised a loud and unanimous voice to
convey its sympathy to Israel and to the families of the
11 slain Olympians and, above all, to demand that the
countries inciting, supporting and harboring the perpetrators
of such murders be made to live up to their responsibilities
under international law and to abide by the basic tenets of
But from Israel's Arab neighbors with the notable
exception of Jordan there came not a word of condemnation,
not the slightest readiness to clamp down on the hotbeds
of murder and international sabotage flourishing on their
own soil. Rather, there uas a clear note of encouragement
to the murderers, often of unconcealed pride in their
barbaric "achievement" and of a promise of more such exploits
to come all of them, no doubt, hatched, prepared and
organized at the terrorists' headquarters and bases in
Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Libya.
True Background of Arab Terrorism
For the Munich murders showed up the two basic in-
gredients of Arab terrorism, of which the so-called "Black
September" group is an integral part:
1. The Arab States, primarily Egypt, Syria and Libya,
being unable to achieve their avowed aim of destroying
Israel by military means and unwilling to end the conflict
with her by negotiation, are deliberately using the terrorist
movement as a substitute to fill the resultant vacuum, to
whip up popular feeling in their own countries and to try
to induce the world to force upon Israel the kind of "peace"
that would render her helpless in the face of a subsequent
renewal of the Arab attempt to "liquidate" her.
2. But for a few isolated incidents, occasional raids
across the Lebanese and Syrian borders and the Lod massacre by
three Japanese, the terrorists have been unable to carry
out their missions of murder inside Israel and the occupied
territories. This is due not only to their fear of the
Israel Defence Forces, but primarily to the fact that the
bulk of the Arab population currently living under Israel
rule which also happens to be the majority of the Palestinian
Arabs in whose name the terrorists falsely claim to speak -
refuses to have any truck with them, will not grant them
refuge or support in their midst and certainly is not prepared
to let itself be used as a springboard for missions of crime and
murder that bring nothing but disgrace and damage to Arabs
everywhere. Hence, the terrorists have, in recent years,
confined their activities to attacks on defenceless Israelis
abroad, to the hijacking of aircraft belonging to Western
countries and to sabotage attempts against industrial plants
in the Federal Republic of Germany, Holland and Italy.
P.L.O., "Fatah" and "Black September" Are All One
The true identity of the "Black September" group was,
perhaps, best defined by the Beirut newspaper "An-Nahar",
in its issue of November 30, 1971:
"The 'Black September' organization is,
in fact, part of the 'Fatah' movement with-
out this being officially admitted".
Just as "Fatah" is the largest of the terrorist groups
comprising part of the so-called Palestine Liberation
Organization, a roof organization for all Palestinian
terrorists, headed by "Fatah" leader Yasser Arafat, so
"Black September" is part and parcel of "Fatah". It was
created by "Fatah" for the express purpose of carrying out
special missions with which the "official" terrorist
leadership did not wish to be formally associated. These
missions fall into four principal categories:
1. Political murder (such as that of Jordanian
Premier Wasfi el-Tel in Cairo on November 26, 1971).
2. Sabotage of Western interests and installations
(such as the gas tanks in Holland on February 6, the
oil pipeline at Hamburg on Feb. 22 and the oil tanks
at Trieste on Aug. 5 of this year).
3. Attacks on Arabs abroad (such as the attempt on
the life of Jordan's Ambassador in London in December,
1971, and the murder of 5 Jordanians in Cologne on
Feb. 6, 1972).
4. Special missions against Israelis abroad (such
as the unsuccessful attempt to hijack a "Sabena" air-
liner on May 8 and the most recent outrage at Munich).
"Black September" also serves as "Fatah's" instrument
for liaison with other extremist organizations practicing
violence in and operating from the Arab world, often
cooperating with such groups in joint operations. The
two surviving members, both of them women, of the group
that tried to hijack the Belgian airliner testified in the
course of their trial in Israel that they had both been
members of "Fatah" but had been told by the planners of the
operation in Lebanon that for the purpose of this task they
would belono to the "Black Seotember" section.
Thus the so-called separate identity of "Black
September" is but a myth at best it is a code-name for
a section of "Fatah" whose affiliation the "official"
terrorist chiefs wish to conceal for various reasons.
Its members are an integral part of "Fatah" which, in
turn, is part of the Palestine Liberation Organization,
the body specifically created, publicly encouraged and
financed by the Arab states to carry out the kind of
"exploit" which the world witnessed last week.
Commenting on the "Black September" group and the
events at Munich, Yasser Arafat said in Kuwait on Sept.?:
"The Palestinian resistance is one body and
fights for one aim."
Arab States' Roles, Detailed
A close look at some of the principal links in the
close relationship between the terrorists and the host
countries is indicative of the crucial fact that none of
them, including "Fatah" and. its "Black September" section,
could carry out any of their missions of murder without
the close support and protection extended to them by
governments who claim to be respected members of the inter-
Apart from supplying the terrorists with arms and
other equipment, the Egyptian government has placed some
of its training facilities at their disposal. Recently,
for instance, "Fatah" members underwent naval commando
courses in Egypt.
The Palestine National Council, embracing the top
leadership of the P.L.O. and its constituent terrorist
groups, convenes regularly in Cairo. Only last April,
President Sadat used his keynote address to this forum
to announce his decision to break off diplomatic relations
with Jordan. Another example of the direct political
support extended by Egypt to the terrorists can be seen
in its approaches to the Lebanese government last June,
aimed at countering the attempts of the Beirut authorities
to restrain further terrorist attacks on Israel from
Lebanese soil, lest more Lebanese lives be lost as a
result of Israel counterstrikes against terrorist bases
President Sadat and Egyptian military leaders were
the first to be visited and consulted by Yasser Arafat
upon his recent return from Moscow. The two terrorists
who murdered the Jordanian Premier in Cairo have been
released on bail and allowed by the Egyptian authorities
to leave the country.
Cairo is the site of several publicly known centers
of the terrorist organizations among them "Fatah's"
offices and military headquarters. It is from Cairo that
the terrorist radio, "Voice of Palestine," beams its daily
broadcasts. It is hardly a coincidence that the terms of
the Munich murderers for the release of their hostages were
broadcast over this station within minutes of their
transmission to the German police in the Olympic Village.
Most of the announcements claiming "credit" for actions
of murder, sabotage and hijacking have emanated from publicly
known centers and offices of the various terrorist organiza-
tions in the city of Beirut.
It was from Beirut that the terrorists invariably set
out for their hijacking missions. It was at command posts,
camps and bases in Lebanon that their operations in Europe
were planned, and all the saboteurs hitherto apprehended,
including the lone survivor among the three Japanese
responsible for the May 30 massacre at Lod airport, have
admitted undergoing extensive training in Lebanon.
As of today, some 5,000 active members of terrorist
organizations remain on Lebanese soil mainly in the country's
Southern and Eastern areas, close to the borders of Israel
and Syria, as well as in refugee camps elsewhere in Lebanon.
The three terrorist targets in Lebanon attacked byIsrael
aircraft last Friday illustrate the type of activity centered
there and at other such bases.
a. Nahr el-Bard a naval training base of "Fatah"
on the Mediterranean coast north of Tripoli.
b. Rachaya el Wadi a regional command post of
"Fatah" to the north of the area of Southern Lebanon
renowned as a springboard for terrorist raids into
Israel and commonly knoun as "Fatahland."
c. Rafid a regional supply and maintenance base of
"Fatah", also strategically situated in the rear of
Since the expulsion of the terrorists from Jordan in
September 1970, Syria has become alongside Lebanon one
of the two major centers of terrorist operations. Command
posts, staging bases, training camps and substantial
concentrations of terrorist groups, totalling about 9,000
men, are located on Syrian soil. Among other purposes they
serve as a strategic reserve both as potential reinforce-
ments for the units operating in and from Lebanon and as
task forces for operations against Jordan.
President Assad of Syria has put it very plainly:
"Syria not only refrains from limiting or
hampering activity by the 'fedayeen'; it
actually spurs them on to greater efforts."
(Interview in the weekly "Al-Fussauar,"
September 2, 1971.)
To carry out this openly proclaimed policy, the
Syrian government maintains a special office for liaison
with the terrorist organizations, which approves projected
operations by all of them as uell as appointments and
promotions in the ranks of "Sa'iqa," a separate terrorist
organisation fully controlled and directed by the Syrian
regime and based exclusively in Syria. Some of its leaders -
such as Zuhair Muhain, "Secretary-General" of "Sai'iqa," end
Col. Mustafa Sa'ad ed-Din are members of the ruling Ba'fh
party in Syria.
In Syria too, there is, of course, a terrorist radio
station. This is what the "Voice of Palestine," broadcasting
from Dera'a, had to say about the Munich outrage on Sept. 6:
"Praise be to the men of 'Black September' and
to the victory. With armed force and with blood,
we shall prevent Palestine from becoming Israel.
The Munich action is a gold medal for the Arab nation."
Once again, the seven terrorist bases in Syria bombed
by Israel aircraft last week provide representative examples
of the use made by the terrorists of the support end
sanctuary so generously offered them by Syria:
a. El-Mama the principal terrorist encampment
in Syria, also containing "Fatah" command posts,
supply and maintenance depots, situated about 4
miles West of Damascus.
b. Fahm el-Jolan regional command poet of
"Fatah" and base of operations against Israel
targets in the Southern part of the Golan.Heights,
less than 6 miles to the East of the cease-fire line.
c. Mezrib a "Sa'iqa" encampment is situated
near the village of that name, also facing the
Southern part of the Golan Heights.
d. Soueida a permanent rear staging camp for
"Fatah", including terrorist volunteers from
Libya and major concentrations of motor vehicles.
It is situated to the South of the South Syrian
toun of Soueida.
e. Burj as-Salaam "Fatah's" principal naval
base in Syria, on the Mediterranean coast North
of Latakia, housing nautical and underwater
f. Dieble point of departure for seagoing
units of "Fatah", on the coast South of Latakia.
g. Mamantar naval training base of "Fatah",
south of the seaport of Tartus.
"Today we declare that the Libyan Arab Republic
uill be responsible for all the supplies, training,
and expenses of every Arab from the ocean to the
gulf who wishes to volunteer for the sake of liberating
"The sons of the Arab nation from the ocean and
gulf must not hesitate to give their names to the
Libyan embassies, and Fatah offices in any Arab
territory, so that the Libyan Arab Republic may
be responsible for sending them to the battlefield,
arming them, training them and bearing their expenses."
(President Mu'ammar Qaddafi in a speech quoted by
Tripoli radio, June 11, 1972).
Libya is the most active of the Arab governments in
lending political, financial and military support to terrorist
activities and in encouraging other Arab regimes primarily
Egypt, its partner in the projected union of the tuo countries -
to step up their own support of the terrorists. Libyan
President Qaddafi is in constant contact uith Yasser Arafat.
So far, there are also about one thousand Libyans
serving in the ranks of the terrorist groups in Lebanon and
Syria all of them, of course, fully trained, supplied,
armed and financed by the Libyan government. Libyans are
known to have participated in an attack by "Katyusha"
rockets on the town of Safad, in Northern Israel, last
Two days ago, an elaborate state funeral was accorded
in Tripoli to the five Munich murderers slain by German
Terror Reduces Peace Hopes and Spreads Violence in World
What, then, is the net effect of the Munich outrage
in all its tragic and widely publicized ramifications?
Far from gaining sympathy for the Arab cause, it has brought
the world face to face with a series of destructive and
dangerous symptoms with which it will have to cope effectively
if peace is to be brought to the Middle East and other
countries the world over are to be rendered safe for life
1. It is not only that such excesses fail to bring
a settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict nearer the
terrorists have never made that claim because they do not
seek a settlement; they seek Israel's "liquidation." In
fact, they have clearly harmed the Arab case by greatly
exacerbating tensions and thereby reducing the chances of
some initial but tangible step toward peace, which to many
had appeared somewhat brighter since the reduction of the
Soviet military presence in Egypt. Besides, they have
brought misery and the danger of further loss of life and
livelihood to those in whose midst they train and hatch
their murderous plots.
2. Israel has made considerable strides in improving
the lot of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arab
refugees currently living and, for the first time, working -
in territories under her control. Obviously, a solution
of the entire refugee problem must be part of the peace
we all seek to bring to the region. Hence, the violence
that further puts off the hopes of peace is clearly a
disservice to the chances of a settlement and specifically
to the refugees.
3. For Israel, the tragic experience of last week
raises an even more profound and deeply disturbing issue.
There is obviously no point in signing any kind of peace
agreement with any of the Arab states unless such an agree-
ment provides not only for an end to hostilities by
government forces on both sides but also for a solemn undertaking
in words as well as in deeds, that there will be a cessation
of all terrorist attacks, on Israel and Israelis abroad, by
gangs operating from the same Arab states.
4. Beyond the context of the Middle East, the massacres
at Lod and Munich against the background of such earlier
outrages as the destruction of an entire "Suisaair" plane
in February of 1970, with the loss of all its passengers
of various nationalities, and the blowing-up of four other
airliners in September of that year raise the spectre of
a direct menace to the lives of innocent citizens of
countries everywhere, particularly to civil aviation and
other vital national interests of those countries.
The Remedy A Two-Pronged Approach
Israel's own role in containing the scourge of terrorism
is clear. As the Knesset (Parliament) resolved on Sept. 11,
"The State of Israel will do its duty and uill
apply its right to protect its representatives
and citizens. It will act constantly against
the terrorist organizations, their bases and
supporters, until an end is put to their criminal
But the Knesset resolution also addressed itself to
the source of the evil and to the part other governments
must play in suppressing it:
"The responsibility for the crime of Munich
and that for other bloody deeds committed by
the murderous organizations falls on the Arab
states, which provide them with bases of
operations and furnish them with all the
means, political support, arms and money
for the planning and execution of their decisions.
"The Knesset calls upon p11 states and govern-
ments to act effectively against the activities
and existence of the terrorist organizations
and for the elimination of their bases."
The international community can and must act quickly
and decisively to attack both the roots and the branches
oF the monster of terrorism. The United States has given
an initial positive lead in this direction. There are
two principal avenues of action:
1.1Thirrld mustflmandthatthe Arab states concerned put
an immediate end to all forms of terrorism and political
murder by individuals and organizations operating from
their soil. Such a call can and will be heeded if govern-
ments and public bodies in the free world back it up by
concrete steps to bar the offending countries, systematically
and effectively, from the maintenance of normal relations -
on the official, commercial or any other level with the
governments and peoples of nations that continue to cherish
basic values of human decency.
2. The moat stringent and ruthless measures must be
introduced and maintained to bar the entry of potential
Arab terrorists into foreign countries to monitor the
activities of those already in those countries, to prevent
any link-up between them and local subversive elements,
to enforce stringent security precautions at airports
and other public places that may provide likely targets
for terrorist action, and to mete out swift justice to
any individuals found to be associated with terrorist
crimes or conspiracies.
Firm action along those lines, in every country serving
as an actual or potential scene of terrorist activity, will
not only contribute to ridding the Middle East of a major
obstacle to peace but to cleansing the rest of the world
of the destructive and contagious curse of terrorism and
murder, thus enabling the citizens of this and all other
countries to go about their daily tasks in the freedom and
security which aretheir right in a free society.