Truth Is My Sword Volume I - Collected Speeches in the Public Arena

by Bo Hi Pak

The Crime of Global Terrorism

January 26, 1986

In the following speech, Dr. Pak addresses the issue of global terrorism at an International Security Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, citing that nation's strong stand against terrorism. Israel has been both a primary victim and the strongest opponent against terrorism since July 23, 1968, when a group of terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked one of Israel's El Al airliners in Rome and forced its pilot to fly it to Algiers. This event is considered the opening volley in a cowardly war that has been waged relentlessly against the innocent citizens of democratic societies of Western Europe, the United States, Israel, and Japan. It has been estimated that more than 550 terrorist organizations exist around the world, using tactics such as murder, kidnapping for ransom, arson, bombings, train holdups, attacks on embassies, and airplane hijackings and bombings. In the middle and late 1980s, terrorism escalated, with attacks on the Achille Lauro cruise ship and several airports, which Dr. Pak cites in his speech at the International Security Council conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, on January 26, 1986.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Tel Aviv. During a recent flight from Asia to Europe, I had a conversation with a fellow passenger. It went something like this.

"Where are you going?" "To London," I replied. "Do you live in London?" "No," I said. "I'm only staying in London for a day, then I'm off to Paris for a day, and then on to Tel Aviv and to ISC."

He thought for a moment and then said, "I've never heard of this city. Where is ISC?" "I don't blame you for not having heard of ISC," I said. "It's a very small place, yet very important people from around the world come there. You may not hear about it for some time, but I promise you one thing. When the time comes that you can travel to Moscow without a visa, you will know all about ISC."

I am sure this gentleman is still puzzled, perhaps gazing at a world map searching for the location of ISC.

Once again, let me welcome you to the hidden city of ISC. In this conference, my task is a very simple one, and it is enjoyable as well as rewarding. I will say just a few words of welcome. Afterward I can sit back and have the pleasure of listening to the very interesting deliberations that will take place over the next two days.

On behalf of CAUSA International, the sponsoring organization of the International Security Council, I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all participants in this conference, which is titled, "State Terrorism and the International System," a truly important issue that has brought us together in Tel Aviv.

Recognizing Courage

We are surely in the right place for this particular conference. Yesterday, when Dr. Churba met me in the hotel lobby, he said, "Israel is the only country where we can have this kind of meeting without having battalions of security forces surrounding the hotel." How true that is.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my personal respect and admiration for the nation and people of Israel. I think if all free nations of the world would take the stand against terrorism that the state of Israel has taken over the past several decades, we would not have any need for this type of conference. It is a great honor to be here in this historic and dynamic country. Let us all join in extending a special welcome to our distinguished Israeli participants.

The ISC, in its short span of existence, has done a marvelous job. It has already addressed and taken a position on a number of crucial international security issues. Now, with the recent inaugural publication of Global Affairs, the ISC's quarterly journal, our impact will be felt even more widely. This important project reflects the wise counsel and commitment of the distinguished members of our advisory board and other international experts, many of whom are attending this conference. Please accept my heartfelt congratulations and appreciation for your continuing dedication.

The ISC has already established its position as an important nongovernmental forum on national security matters. I want only to express my absolute delight with the achievements of the ISC. I also wish to extend my appreciation to Ambassador Charles Lichenstein for undertaking the chairmanship of this conference. Although it is my first opportunity to meet him in person, I have followed his career with great interest, especially during his distinguished tenure at the United Nations. He is truly one of a rare breed of American statesmen whose foresight, vision, and courage are widely admired, and we are privileged to convene this assembly under his leadership.

We know terrorism is a crime against humanity. The Soviet Union and its surrogates have apparently adopted this forum of violence as a means of pursuing the goal of global hegemony. State-sponsored terrorism must be the concern not only of the governments of the free world but of people everywhere. Since it threatens the innocent, everyone is vulnerable. One need only look at the recent examples: KAL Flight 007, the TWA hijacking last summer, the brutal murder of Mr. Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro, and the recent terrorist slaughter of innocents at the Rome and Vienna airports.

We must find a way to deter these criminal acts. In the face of intimidation and blackmail, not many people or governments are willing to confront the issue. The International Security Council is committed to do what it can to change this situation. We hope to educate the public, awaken the policymakers, and induce enough courage and commitment to eradicate such criminal acts. I deem it a special privilege and honor to be a part of this noble endeavor.

I look forward to joining with you in the work that lies before us. Shalom, and thank you very much.

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