In his statement to the Knesset, the Prime Minister castigated the governments and organizations who spoke of a moderation in the PLO. He said that gone are forever the days when Jewish blood could be shed with impunity. In his statement the Prime Minister hinted that Israel "would sever the arms of iniquity." Text of the statement and the Knesset resolution follow:
Mr. Speaker, members of the Knesset.
A day of bloodshed befell us last Saturday - a terrible day in the annals of our people that will not be forgotten. The entire nation mourns its fallen - men, women and children - who were cut down by murderers merely because of being Jews. Merely because of being citizens of Israel. But who or what will comfort the families that lost their dear ones. All those who were murdered were innocent sojourners, people who harmed no one, felled along the wayside by murderers who aimed at their heart - the Jewish heart. All that is left for us to say, following the eternal Jewish tradition: May the Lord comfort you among all the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and may you know no more sorrow. We extend to the wounded our wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.
The main facts about the bloody deeds on the bloody day have already been published, and I shall therefore confine myself to an absolutely concise recapitulation. The murderers came from Lebanon. They were briefed by the head of the military wing of the Fatah organization, the principal component of the organization calling itself P.L.O. - both commended by Yasser Arafat. These Nazis arrived by sea, being charged with the so-called "Mission": To seize hostages, and to present to the Government demands - accompanied by threats to murder the captured civilians. This they were unable to do. But from the moment they landed, they murdered Jews - just for being Jews. A young woman, to whom they put questions and then killed. They seized a taxi and killed its passengers. They seized a bus, and another bus and sprayed fire in every direction. All this, in order to kill Jews by virtue of their being Jews until the terrible, fateful encounter - and now we mourn our dead. Twenty-eight Jews - men, women and children -perished at the hands of the murderers.
I want the Knesset to know and note that in this battle, too, there were supreme acts of heroism - by civilians, policemen and soldiers. There was a battle inside the bus, Jews who had no weapons overcame the band of murderers, seized their weapons, and turned them on those scheming against the lives of other Jews. Policemen with small-arms rushed those who were armed with better weapons. And thus, thanks to self-sacrifice and Jewish heroism, not a single one of the murderers who came to perpetrate their plot in our country - escaped. I wish to laud the voluntary spirit of members of the Civil Guard. Over a short period, 5,000 members of the Civil Guard appeared, mobilized and guarded. All respect and honour to all those who thus served our people and thus defended our lives and honour. Needless to say, following such a bloody event, an investigation is called for and there will be one by both military and civilian commissions.
In the wake of this bloody deed, one of the worst atrocities of our times, it behooves us to look around - and as we do so, we shall see a terrible vision: Lack of humanity. Men, women and children fell victim to an attack by inhuman killers. (Yet) not a word of regret. No commiseration in the grief of the bereaved families, on the contrary: We hear the sound of rejoicing, of boasting. Lo, we are confronted by a phenomenon of lack of Godly or human semblance, tones of bestial brutality are heard these days - while we nurse our dead.
But it behooves us also to direct our glances afar. Indeed, we accuse. Only three days ago that arch murderer was in Moscow, where he was honourably received. The ruler of the Soviet Union in person had a discussion with him. On what did they confer and on what did they talk? According to our most reliable information, dozens of courses for members of Fatah and those called P.L.O. have been held recently in the Soviet Union and other East European Communist countries in which Soviet experts taught how to use weapons, how to attack.
Yes. The P.L.O. collaborates with the Soviet Union - but graver by far is it to determine that the Soviet Union collaborates with the P.L.O. This major power, which promised justice, which saw the bloodshed of our people in Europe, nowadays instructs the murderers and provides them with lethal weapons of all kinds - including artillery, machineguns and all manner of other lethal weapons - in order, as we have again learnt last Saturday, to sow murder among the remnant of the Jewish people.
There are also democratic states in Europe and in other parts of the world in which there are - openly, for all to behold - offices of that murderers organization. Everyone knows what these offices engage in, and now, after the atrocity perpetrated against Israeli citizens - can any ruler in any country have any doubt about whom these countries are aiding and abetting in allowing the existence of these offices?
Yes, this is a murderers organization with many weapons and much money and many supporters - so that its tentacles are world-embracing, and it makes use of offices in free countries, too (inaudible) in order to prepare these atrocities.
We call on the democratic states - for we cannot penetrate the heart of totalitarian states - to put an end to this shameful situation. How can they continue to allow the existence of offices in which such acts of murder are plotted? We demand that they be shut down, and the expulsion from those countries of all those conspiring to perpetrate acts of murder against our people.
The Arab states met at the time in Rabat, and there, at that conference, decided to declare that organization which calls itself the P.L.O. the sole - and even legitimate representative of the Palestinian Arabs. All the Arab states. They knew that that organization composed a manifesto according to which this country must disappear. The only country in the world against which, in this time, there is a writ of destruction, no such writ exists against any other country - large, small or tiny.
Nonetheless - and perhaps it is imperative to say as a result of this - all the Arab countries around declared that organization which openly proclaims that Israel must be destroyed, is the representative and there is none other of a civilian population in our land.
And let us also bear in mind: When that same head of the murderers organization arrived in New York, and appeared before the plenum of the United Nations organization, he was greeted by a standing ovation and with respect. Representatives of dozens of countries applauded him. We gazed at that abominable picture: It begged belief, what had happened to humanity? What was happening to the great international organization which emblazoned on its standard the aspiration for peace and justice and liberty? But that too, happened - and all those factors aided the murderers organization, encouraged it to go on planning the murder of our people.
It is from Jerusalem that we utter this writ of indictment against all those, in East and West, who, despite our repeated calls, voiced neither reservation nor condemnation, but rather the contrary: Voiced encouragement and backing for the blackest organization other than the Nazi murder organizations - ever to arise in the annals of humanity.
There is nowadays an organization in possession of large quantities of arms which it points at men, women and children. It attacks no person or place where there are soldiers, rather, it is determined to attack, to wound, to kill civilians - and none other than civilians. We cannot recall - except, as I said, the Nazi organizations - such a criminal organization.
Then came that bloody Saturday. We shall do what has to be done.
Gone forever are the days when Jewish blood could be shed with impunity. Let it be known: The shedders of
innocent blood shall not go unpunished. We shall defend our citizens, our women, our children. We shall sever the
arm of iniquity. Under no circumstances, under no conditions will we acquiesce in a criminal's hand being raised
against a Jewish child, a Jewish woman.
We shall do what has to be done to defend our people and to eradicate the inhumanity which is today the lot of peoples around us. But the countries that tolerate, and even encourage the murderers organization on their soil are accountable before God and man.
We call on our people to strengthen themselves in these terrible days of trial. This brutal enemy seeks to break our spirit in order to try to uproot us from our land. He will not succeed. No enemy will break our spirit. We are an ancient people: Much have we seen on our way. We are tried also in affliction, and we are aware of our goal -especially in the generation of the holocaust and survival - to secure the future of the nation in Eretz Israel, to defend this small nation with all the means at our disposal.
We call on the Jewish people in the homeland and in the dispersions: Be of sound spirit. We shall all of us prove to this cruel enemy that his design will not avail, that our people will continue to dwell in its land as a free nation, and will give its children security.
These bloody acts will not break the courageous nation, and it will continue to follow the path determined by its history: The return to Zion and a life of liberty and dignity in Zion. With the help of God, we shall also overcome these enemies of humanity.
The Knesset resolution
"1. The Knesset angrily condemns the bloody act perpetrated by the emissaries of the murderers organization called the P.L.O. whose victims were men, women and children. These peaceful civilians were cut down by a brutal enemy only because they were Jews.
"2. The Knesset expresses its condolences to the families whose loved ones fell on the Haifa-Tel Aviv highway and wishes the wounded a speedy and full recovery.
"3. The Knesset asserts that the terrorist organizations and their emissaries must be struck at to exterminate them.
"4. The Knesset calls on freedom-seeking nations to condemn this murderers organization, to withdraw any recognition of it, to close down its offices and to expel its representatives.
"5. The Knesset believes that the terrorists' attempts to frustrate the peace efforts in the Middle East will not succeed. The State of Israel will continue to indefatigably strive for true and durable peace."