Israelis Upset By Reports Of Separation Of Jewish Passengers With PM-Hijacking, Bjt
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) _ A member of parliament and Israeli newspapers are expressing dismay over the reports that passengers with Jewish-sounding names had been separated from others aboard the hijacked TWA jetliner.
Haika Grossman, a member of Parliament from the socialist Mapam Party, said Tuesday the reports ″send shivers through me.″
The five-day drama has been reported extensively by the Israeli press, which has emphasized the reported separation of some American passengers during the plane’s second stop in Beirut early Saturday.
″The German Woman Carried Out the Selection,″ read a headline in Tuesday’s Yediot Ahronot, a conservative newspaper. Above the headline appeared a large photograph of the plane’s senior flight attendant, Uli Derickson, a West German citizen.
The word ″selection″ is fraught with meaning for Israelis because it was used to describe the process in which the Nazis selected Jewish concentration camp prisoners to be sent to the gas chambers.
At a news conference Sunday in New York, Ms. Derickson said she spoke German with two of the air pirates and, at their request, collected the passengers’ passports so they could select those with Jewish-sounding names.
TWA Vice President Jerry W. Cosley said Tuesday that when Ms. Derickson gave her account of the hijacking to the airline, she said she was with the hijackers as they went through the passports.
Cosely quoted the woman as saying that each time the hijackers decided a name sounded Jewish, she challenged that assumption.
According to the State Department, an undetermined number of passengers are believed to have been taken off the Boeing 727 in Beirut early Saturday. The commandeered plane then flew to Algeria, and returned to Lebanon Sunday with some 40 American passengers and crewmembers still aboard. All but the crew are now believed held by Shiite militiamen in the Beirut area.
Mrs. Grossman, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, said in parliamentary debate Monday, ″It must be hard to be a Jew even if you carry an American passport,″ the daily Al Hamishmar reported.
The paper, owned by Mapam, quoted her as saying, ″I regard with great severity the TWA hijacking in which a selection was made according to the name listed in the passport, and everyone is calm about it. It send shivers through me.″
An editorial in the daily Maariv asked whether it is ″the policy of the American airline company, that when asked to separate Jewish passengers from non-Jewish ones, it complies with the demand?″
The conservative daily also asked whether ″the stewardess acted on her own accord or in her company’s name when she boasted of the good ties she established with the hijackers?″