Nahum Goldmann Criticizes American Jewish Committee for Article in “commentary”

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, speaking for the Jewish Agency for Palestine, today criticized the American Jewish Committee for a statement appearing in a review of the Jewish news of the month published in the first issue of “Commentary”. In a statement issued to the press, Dr. Goldmann said:

“The attention of the Jewish Agency for Palestine has been drawn to a statement made in the first issue of ‘Commentary’, official organ of the American Jewish Committee. In connection with Marshal Stalin’s alleged views on the subject of a solution of the Jewish problem it is stated that ‘At least three international organizations would be available for Stalin: The World Zionist Organization, the United Nations Organization and a reconstituted Comintern.’

“This linking of the World Zionist Organization with the Comintern is rediscent of nothing so much as the smear tactics of Herr Goebbels. It is incompressible that an organization whose main task is to fight anti-Semitism should use its causes in a manner which can give comfort only to the anti-Semites.”

EDITOR OF “COMMENTARY” REPLIES; SAYS WRITERS ARE FREE TO EXPRESS THEIR OPINION

Elliot E. Cohen, editor of “Commentary”, replying to Dr. Goldmann’s statement said: “The most charitable interpretation of Nahum Goldmann’s statement is that it was issued under the emotional stress of recent events. There is really nothing Minister in the sentence quoted from Mr. Sidney Hertzberg’s department, “The Month in History.” It is a legitimate speculation, on an important and much-discussed issue, the attitude of the Soviet Union to the Jewish problem. The sentence is a comment on a statement made by the head of the Soviet State to Dr. Emil Sommerstein, chairman of the Central Jewish Committee in Poland, which has aroused wide speculation in the Jewish press. Stalin, when asked if he was interested in an international solution of the Jewish problem, said, ‘Certainly and seriously.’

“We think it is legitimate to speculate–which is what Mr. Hertzberg did–as to which of the three organizations Stalin might work with in his efforts toward solving the Jewish question internationally–the United Nations Organization, the World Zionist Organization, or a reconstituted Comintern,” Mr. Cohen continued. “This is all the statement said or meant, and to find anything else in it is to read between the lines what is not there, and to find non-existent monsters under the bed. The current most certainly did not make any ‘linking’ of the World Zionist Organization with the Comintern.

“Incidentally for the record, Commentary, while sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, is not the ‘official organ of the American Jewish Committee,’ as Mr. Soldman states. As Commentary’s masthead makes clear, it is a broad, comprehensive Jurnal of Jewish thought and culture, permitting wide latitude of expression to diverse points of view. The opinions of editors and contributors are their own and do not necessarily express the Committee’s position or point of view,” Mr. Cohen’s statement concluded.

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