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Hebrew Committee of National Liberation Registers with Department of Justice

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The newly-established “Hebrew Committee of National Liberation” and three of its members, including its chairman, Peter Bergson, yesterday filed registration statements as foreign agents, the Department of Justice disclosed today. The Committee registered as “an agent of the Hebrew nation.”

The statement filed by the Committee said that the organization was not sure that it came under the provisions of the Foreign Agents Act of 1938. The members listed were: Peter H. Bergson, also known as Kook, living in Washington; Samuel Merlin, now in New York; Theodore Ben-Nahum, formerly Theodore Kopeliovitch, now in New York; Finhas Delougaz, now in Chicago; Eri Jabotinsky, now in Turkey, Arieh Ben-Eliezer, now in Palestine; and Captain Jeremiah Halpern, now in England. the first three filed statements of their own.

A list of employees will be submitted later, the Committee statement said. Most of its members, it pointed out, have been members of the American Friends of a Jewish Palestine; all were active members of the Committee for a Jewish Army and the Emergency Committee to Save the Jews of Europe; and some were members of the Free Palestine Committee while it was being organized. According to the statement, the Free Palestine Committee never functioned publicly and was dissolved upon the formation of the Hebrew Committee of National Liberation.

With regard to the finances of the Hebrew Committee of National Liberation the statement said it had received $10,000 from the Free Palestine Committee and had borrowed $15,000 from the Palestine Defense Fund. Bergson and Merlin draw salaries of $3,900, each, per year, a “low ceiling” which was “self-imposed” and is not to be applied to American members of the staff.

“As far as we know,” the statement reads, “there is no other organization which represents, or purports to represent or to speak for the foreign principle. The Jewish Agency for Palestine, the World Jewish Congress and a number of other organizations purport to speak for ‘the Jewish people’ of the world as a whole. But it is essential to maintain clear distinction between Hebrews, who belong to a specific national and political entity — the Hebrew nation — and the ‘Jewish people’ which is an abstrach religious or cultural entity of no possible political standing. Jewish people can be American, Russian, etc.”

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