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Hijacking Can't Be Justified

October 23, 1985

The article by Daoud Kuttab (Editorial Pages, Oct. 11), was an attempt to justify the hijacking of the Achille Lauro by explaining the pervasive frustration of the Palestinians. Despite its lengthy diatribe, I attempted to search for some reference regarding the brutal murder of Leon Klinghoffer and the unrelenting and continual savagery by the terrorists toward the passengers.

Where were those words, Mr. Kuttab? You omitted them almost as if they were mere incidents "that must be seen within a general context of the larger Palestinian problem."

Kuttab was so chauvinistic in his efforts to explain the root cause of what he determines to be "frustration," he failed to address himself to an issue that is far more reaching than any cause.

This isn't merely a question of people who are bereft and homeless. It is an issue that is being brought to the people on a scale that is not only totally unacceptable, it is viewed with profound anger and human indignation when innocent people, particularly those on holiday, are murdered and terrorized.

When this heinous behavior is exhibited, does Kuttab believe that humanity is interested in his cause? Would he be so verbally prolific with his words if he had to explain the aberrant behavior of some madman who killed his wife or mother while he stood there witnessing the atrocity? Would he explain all the reasons for such behavior as calmly and purposefully as he described the reasons to justify the behavior of the terrorist?

There isn't any human excuse for ever hijacking a plane and torturing and killing any innocent passenger. There isn't any human excuse for ever brutally murdering any innocent when its action is to bring to one's consciousness a cause, a need to ameliorate any existing frustration.


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