Terror claims the West Bank
In world affairs over this past week two important changes occurred: one between Jews and Arabs in Palestine, the other among members of the European Common Market.Skip to next paragraph
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In Palestine, the public image of the relationship between the two populations was reversed by the coordinated bombings aimed at three politically prominent Arabs. Heretofore Jews have been the most publicized victims of terror. Now, Arabs are the victims of terror. Arabs no longer have a monopoly on the opprobrium that goes with being the author of violence. This is bound to improve the Arab case against Israel in world opinion.
In Europe the unity of the Western allies of the United States had another "Hair- breadth Harry" escape from trouble. The issue was whether the continental allies would make those economic concessions that would make it possible for the British remain inside the Common Market. Any less might have forced them back out, and destroyed the economic base that is probably essential to continued political coordination of their policies.
At the last moment the Common Market delegates, assembled in Brussels, managed to agree to reduce Britain's contribution to the Community's budget from its present level of $2.6 billion to $890 million for this year. Similar reductions are promised for the following two years. The British are still unhappy about what they consider an unfair financial burden on them, but the Cabinet in London accepted the concessions as making possible their continued membership in the Community.
There has been little change for better or worse in most other world issues. Increased military activity along the Iraq-Iran frontier ought logically to cause a softening of anti- Americanism in Iran, to the benefit of the hostage situation. But the clerical leadership in Tehran apparently continues to find anti-Americanism an essential instrument for its domestic political purposes.
Soviet military forces continue to dominte Afghanistan by day, but must retreat behind their garrison walls by night when guerrillas roam at will. Worl opinion continues to be diverted by Iran and Middle East situations from full attention to the Afghan story. However, Christian Science Monitor special correspondent Eric Bourne reports that the government of Poland, Hungary, and Romania have lodged strong private protests in Moscow against the Afghan venture. Although forced to line up in public with Moscow, these seems to be no doubt that these three communist countries are all trying to get across to the men in the Kremlin that the cause of communism has suffered net damage from Moscow's use of military force against the Afghans.
Most significant change of the week was the one in Palestine where bombs, obviously coordinated by a command center, went off simultaneously in three cities -- Nablus, Ramallah, and Bira -- all aimed at the Arab mayors of those cities. A hand grenade was tossed into the shopping center at Hebron at the same time. Nablus is the main city in the northern section of the West Bank. Ramallah and Bira are in the center. Hebron is the largest city in the south.