On August 9th, 1982, tragedy struck in the heart of Paris. The Chez Jo Goldenberg, a prominent Jewish deli, became the site of a horrendous act of terrorism when two assailants, armed with grenades and machine guns, unleashed an onslaught of violence. The attack resulted in the death of six innocent individuals, while dozens more sustained injuries. Although no official acknowledgment has been provided, evidence strongly points towards the involvement of the Abu Nidal Organization, a notorious Palestinian international terrorist faction aligned with the PLO's Fatah militant group. This dreadful act transpired amid the First Israel-Lebanon war, a period during which Arafat and the entirety of the PLO found themselves encircled by Israeli forces in Beirut.
The underlying motive for this attack was rooted in anti-Zionist sentiments. However, the selection of a Jewish deli to execute this act of terror not only exhibited their opposition to Zionism but also displayed profound antisemitism.
"On August 9, 1982, rue des Rosiers in Paris, the Jo Goldenberg restaurant was the target of an anti-Semitic attack. 6 people died there. 22 are injured. 40 years later, we do not forget." https://t.co/COFsQ5vMmU— |Sh|श|ش|hS|333|373|464|262|101|555|898| (@exalted_jupiter) August 9, 2022
The Abu Nidal Organization rose to prominence mainly during the 1980s and early 1990s. They are responsible for a series of brutal attacks against Western, Palestinian, and Israeli entities. Although secular in their orientation, similar to groups like the PFLP, their primary mission was to disrupt diplomatic efforts involving the PLO, Israel, and Western nations. Furthermore, they were vehemently committed to the annihilation of Israel. Led by Abu Nidal, originally named Sabri Khalil Al-Banna, and born in 1937 in Jaffa, this organization enjoyed the patronage of influential figures from Syria, Libya, and Iraq. Their reign of terror spanned almost two decades and crossed borders into nearly twenty countries, resulting in the deaths of around 300 people and leaving thousands injured.
The malevolence of Abu Nidal's attacks knew no bounds, victimizing everyone from unsuspecting civilians to Israeli diplomats and even Palestinian leaders. The group's ideology was unwaveringly centered around opposing Jewish self-determination within Palestine, employing any means necessary. In their eyes, any Palestinian individual, regardless of their status, found fraternizing or collaborating with Israelis was fair game.
August 9, 1982: Palestinian anti-Semitic terrorist attack by Fatah-Revolutionary Council of Abu Nidal targeting Chez Jo Goldenberg restaurant specialized in Jewish gastronomy, in the Marais, Paris. 6 dead, 22 wounded. Suspects neither extradited nor tried https://t.co/k6I4AVIhV1 pic.twitter.com/sw8JbQ92ZM— Véronique Chemla (@VeroniqueChemla) August 9, 2020
A pivotal event, the attempted assassination of the Israeli Ambassador, Shlomo Argov, in London in 1982, was a catalyst for the onset of the First Lebanon War. Another heinous act by this organization was the attack on the Neve Shalom Synagogue in Istanbul in September 1986, which claimed the lives of twenty-two individuals, including tourists and worshipers. Their antagonism towards PLO-Israeli diplomacy was further evidenced when they targeted and assassinated Abu Iyad, the PLO's second-in-command, in Tunis during the Madrid peace talks in 1991. Years of bloodshed and terror eventually culminated in August 2002 when reports emerged of Abu Nidal's death by gunshot in Baghdad, Iraq, marking an end to the organization's reign of terror.