Jews on Racial Discrimination is Asked by U.S. Rabbis; Penalties for Bigotry Urged
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Jews on Racial Discrimination is Asked by U.S. Rabbis; Penalties for Bigotry Urged

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The demand that “all racial discrimination and segregation be banned by the laws of states and nations,” was voiced in a statement adopted here last night at the closing session of the two-day Instit te on Judaism and Race Relations held under the auspices of the Commission on Justice and Peace of the Central Conference of the American Rabbis.

The statement emphasized that “theories of racial superity and infericrity have no foundation in modern science” and declared that the false theories on race have been used as a political instrument of anti-democratic forces the world over. Dealing with the treatment of Negro citizens in the United States, the statement-issued on behalf of more than 100 rabbis-emphasized the heroism displayed by Negro troops during the war, and urged that the F.E.P.C. should be made permanent and that provisions be embodied in the federal aid bills guaranteeing greater educational opportunity to Jegroes.

The statement charged that “the potentialities of the law in helping to break down racial bigotry and its chief objective manifestation-racial discrimination- have not been realized.” It favored denial of tax exemptions to educational institutions practicing racial discrimination and called for legislation prohibiting racial discrimination in housing. “In our immigration and naturalization laws, we must eliminate every vestige of outmoded racial doctrines,” the statement urged. “The decision to admit or exclude an alien should depend upon his own worth and not upon the color of his skin or the accident of his place of birth. In every place which solicits public petronage-trains, hotels, restaurants, theatres, retail stores-we oppose not only discrimination, but segregation as well.”

The statement pointed out that prejudice is often strengthened, if not created, by the circulation of false and malicious defamations of racial or religious groups. “We believe that groups which have been libeled should have the right by private civil action to sue for an injunction, compulsory retraction, or a minimum penalty,” it declared.

“The heart of Israel goes out to all who aspire to freedom,” the statement said, “We are convinced that the age of imperialism-political, economic and cultural is ended. The Indians, Burmese, Koreans, Filipines, among other peoples, should be aided in the solution of problems incident to their immediate entry into the community of self-governing nations. In remaining dependent areas, as a first step toward self-government, international trusteeship under the United Nations Organization should supersede colonial control. The relation of East and West must be one of equal partnership in the administration and enjoyment of the common resources and common cultural heritage of the world.”

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