17 JULY 1976, Page 19

Amin and Israel

Sir : If nothing else, the Israeli rescue operation in Uganda has put the spotlight on 'General' Idi Amin, perhaps the most gross and brutal tyrant in the world today. One may recall that Amin broke off relations with Israel in the first place, because Israel's government refused to put weapons at his disposal for an invasion of Tanzania. More operatively, Amin subsequently sent a telegram to the UN Secretary-General, Dr Waldheim, at the time of the Munich murder of Israel's Olympic athletes in which he said: 'Germany is the right place where, when Hitler was the Prime Minister and supreme commander, he burnt over six million Jews. This is because Hitler and all German people knew that the Israelis are not people who are working in the interest of the people of the world, and that is why they burnt the Israelis alive with gas in the soil of Germany. The world should remember that the Palestinians, with the assistance of Germany, made that operation possible.

'Therefore the people of the world must also consider very seriously the removal of Israelis from the UN, and also from the Middle East . .

What this telegram made clear was that Amin accepted the murder of six million Jews by Hitler as the most natural thing in the world, and approved without reservation. He even applauded the notion (he had his facts slightly wrong) that six million innocent people were 'burnt alive with gas in the soil of Germany'.

The light that this telegram casts on Amin should be pretty revealing. One wonders only what kind of answer came from the deplorable Dr Waldheim—possibly a grateful acknowledgement. For one should not forget that Dr Waldheim's Austrian countrymen joined with gusto and glee in the hideous persecution and mass-murder of the Jews by the Nazis. By condemning Israel's rescue of innocent and helpless women and children in Entebbe, Dr Waldheim has brought shame and disrepute on the Austrians of today's world and on that United Nations organisation which he is meant to serve.

Terence Prittie Britain and Israel, 11 Rod marton Street, London W1