Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president, Rabbinical Alliance of America

The Rabbinical Alliance of America—Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American Rabbis, calls on the Trump administration to bring notorious accused terrorists Hamada and Abu Zayed to justice for the reported murder of Americans in a 1982 terrorist attack in Paris. On August 9, 1982, two Palestinian terrorists — Nizar Tawfiq Mussa Hamada and Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed  — reportedly fired submachine guns and threw hand grenades at the Jo Goldenberg restaurant in the Jewish quarter of Paris. Six people were murdered and 22 wounded. The six murdered victims were Mohamed Bennemou, André Hezkia Niego, Grace Cuter, Anne Van Zanten, Denise Guerche Rossignol, and Georges Demeter.

Two of the murdered victims were Americans from Chicago: 66-year-old Grace Cutler and 31-year-old Ann Van Zanten, the curator of architectural collections at the Chicago Historical Society. Ann’s husband, David, a professor at Northwestern University, was among the injured.

Hamada and Abu Zayed escaped. However, United States law permits the arrest and capture of foreign terrorists who have killed Americans in order to bring them to the United States for trial and punishment. For unknown reasons, the United States government has failed to act and shockingly has never shown any interest in apprehending and bringing to justice the murderers of Grace Cutler and Ann Van Zanten. Hamada and Abu Zayed are not even included in the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program, which offers rewards for information leading to the capture of killers of Americans abroad.

In March 2015, France revealed that Hamada and Abu Zayed were living a good life in Norway, and that two other terrorists reportedly connected to the attack, Mahmoud Khader Abed and Zuhair al-Abbasi, were living in the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, respectively. To protect al-Abbasi, the Jordanians “arrested” him and then quickly released him on bail.

The French government asked Norway to surrender Abu Zayed but the Norwegians refused. The United States, which does more than $12 billion in trade annually with Norway, did not step up to bring justice to Grace and Ann by demanding that Norway surrender the accused terrorists.

In recent weeks, the French government obtained additional information about Abu Zayed and renewed its request to extradite him. At the moment, he is in Norwegian custody while the authorities there consider the French request.

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, stated, “As Americans, we have a moral and ethical obligation to take all appropriate steps necessary to bring Hamada and Abu Zayed to the United States to be tried and held accountable for killing Grace Cutler and Ann Van Zanten. It is very disturbing that Norway has so far refused to extradite these men accused of cold-blooded murder. We call on the Trump Administration to take all necessary steps to see to it that justice is served. American blood cannot be cheap. At minimum, Hamada and Abu Zayed should be immediately placed on the “Reward for Justice” program in order to signal to the world that the United States does not take the killing of its citizens lightly. The United States must send a resoundingly strong message that killing and injuring Americans will not be tolerated. Would-be terrorists must know that if they attack Americans, this great country will do whatever is necessary to apprehend and punish the perpetrators.

“We further call on the Trump Administration to sanction any nation that aids, abets, assists, or harbors in any way any terrorist involved in a terrorist attack against Americans. The Trump Administration should look at the appropriate sanctions that can be imposed on Norway, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority in connection to their part in helping evade justice terrorists who injure or kill Americans.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here