Israel protested Capitol Hill meetings yesterday of Palestine Liberation Organization official Zehdi Labib Terzi, but Terzi's host, Rep. Paul Findley (R-Ill.), said Americans should hear more from the Palestinian group rather than less.
The Israeli protest, delivered to the State Department by Ambassador Ephraim Evron, maintains that Terzi's meetings were a violation of the rules under which the PLO observer at the United Nations is permitted in this country.
Findley, however, said he had cleared Terzi's visit to Washington in advance with officials of the State Department. The congressman said he wanted to hear Terzi's report on his meetings with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the recent nonaligned summit in Havana.
In addition to Findley, Terzi met with several black leaders, the Rev. Jesse Jackson of Operation PUSH, the Rev. Joseph Lowery, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and D.C. Delegate Walter Fauntroy. Later Jackson announced that he had accepted an invitation to meet with Arafat at an undetermined time.
The meetings came on a day in which it was also reported that the PLO has taken a $1,250 table here at the annual fund-raising dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus in what a PLO spokesman said is a goodwill gesture toward U.S. blacks.
The dinner, which will be held at the Washington Hilton here Sept. 22, is the ninth annual fund-raising affair sponsored by the Black Caucus. A spokesman for the congressional organization said the PLO table was actually purchased late last spring by the League of Arab States, which includes the PLO.
"We have three of our members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and we have always had international interest in our dinner," said the caucus spokesman.
He said that in addition to tables purchased by the league and a number of other embassies, tables at the dinner also have been bought by the White House, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.