Prime Minister Menachem Begin, in a scathing attack on condemnations in the U.N. Security Council of the Easter Sunday shooting rampage in the Dome of the Rock Mosque, said today that a "blood libel" had been perpetrated against the Jewish people "while the civilized, democratic world once again stood and remained silent."
The convening of a special session of the Security Council to debate the mosque shootings, Begin said in a statement issued by his office, was an attempt to exploit the "human tragedy" of the actions of a deranged man and attempt "to place an entire nation in the dock on account of the crime of one, mentally ill man."
Those sponsoring the resolution, the prime minister said, include:
Syria, which, Begin said, "slaughtered thousands of Christians, women and children, in Lebanon" and "massacred" thousands of civilians during recent Moslem Brotherhood uprisings in Hamah; Iran, a nation that, Begin said, "reintroduced the darkness of the Middle Ages into our time"; Saudi Arabia, where "hands are still cut off" by court edict and where the people are "ruled by one family of predatory princes," and Jordan, which the prime minister said killed thousands of civilians by shelling refugee camps in 1970 to expel the Palestine Liberation Organization.
"A Moslem citizen of Turkey attempted to assassinate the head of the Roman Catholic Church, attacked His Holiness Pope John Paul II, and seriously wounded him. Was this man's nationality or religion accused of this crime?" Begin asked.
Alan Harry Goodman, an Israeli immigrant from the United States and a recent inductee into the Israeli Army, is being held for the shooting rampage, which left two Arabs dead and nine wounded.
Police sources have said, however, it has been determined that only one of the Arabs killed, a guard at the door to the mosque, was shot by Goodman. The other victim appeared to have been killed some distance from the mosque and after Goodman was captured. The second victim apparently was killed with a revolver, while Goodman carried an M16 rifle, sources said.
After Goodman was arrested and removed from the Temple Mount, where the mosque is located, a number of armed Israeli civilians were seen running toward the area, where Army troops and border policemen were confronted by hundreds of stone-throwing Arab youths.
There have been reports that police collected more than 3,000 spent cartridges on the Temple Mount following the rioting, during which security forces repeatedly fired into the air and at the legs of protesters.