Detroit (Feb. 11)
The four-day General Assembly of the General of Jewish Federation and Welfare Funds concluded here today after adopting a resolution calling upon its member organizations to continue a coordinated fight on anti-Semitics by supporting the National Community Relations Advisory Council, in which all the major Jewish civic protective groups are represented, in addition to 19 local Jewish communities.
The “independent list” of candidates for membership on the Councils board of directors, sponsored by a pro-Zionist group, was badly defeated in the elections last night. All the candidates proposed by the nominations committee of the Council were elected by an overwhelming majority.
Today’s sessions were devoted primarily to reports on activities in connection with the fight on anti-Semitism in this country. Richard Gutstadt, director of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League, reported that in so far as organized anti-Semitism is concerned, there has been a decided decrease in the number of anti-Jewish organizations. However, there is a noticeable tendency towards consolidation of such anti-Semitic forces, with clear evidence of constant systematic cooperation among anti-Semitic groups and individuals for exchange of information, joint meetings and joint action, Mr. Gutstadt said.
He revealed that about twenty anti-Semitic publications are still being sent through the mails at the taxpayer’s expense. “Important is the feeling of anti-Semitic pamphleteers that now is the time for prosperity for their racket,” he said. Mr. Gutstadt reported how anti-Semitic propaganda is being distributed among Congressmen, containing charges that the Jews were responsible for Pearl Harbor, and that the Jews are the dominant force behind the United Nations Organizations.
WARNS ECONOMIC CRISIS MAY PLACE VETERANS UNDER SWAY OF ANTI-SEMITES
Reviewing the activities of anti-Semitic groups throughout the country, he predicted that in case of economic and social dislocations of great magnitude, the returning war veterans and their families may easily fall under the influence of anti-Semitic propaganda, and might become the nucleus for a potential pro-fascist storm-troop movement.
“Perhaps of even more sinister import,” he warned, “is the danger which comes not from the lunatic fringe, or those identified as irresponsible demagogues. Intellectuals, well-financed, pro-fascist are striving now to create an organization similar to these which exist in the ranks of the lower-level anti-Semites.”
The plan to create a so-called “Save America Committee,” ostensibly to fight Communism is actually aimed at eliminating what they consider Jewish influence from the American scene, the Anti-Defamation League director warned. He emphasized that the picture of anti-Semitic activities shows that the anti-Jewish elements in this country are boot towards a common goal: A potential storm-troop set-up and a potential intellectual front. He called upon Jewish civic protective agencies to localize the throat storming from those groups, through constant exposure of their activities.
SHER RESIGNS AS HEAD OF NCRAC IN DISPUTE OVER EXPANSION OF STAFF
David Sher, chairman of the National Community Relations Advisory Council, who analyzed the need for intensive activities to combat anti-Semitics, revealed the fact that he had resigned last week from that post, because he felt that some of the national agencies represented on the advisory council do not really accept it. “Their censors” he added, “is not that the NCRAC may do too little, but that it may do too
“I decline to be a party to any attempt to create an appearance of unity and coordination when there is neither unity nor coordination,” Mr. Sher said. “There have been other indications of the lack of desire of agencies to submerge their organizational interests in a common effort, but the question of staff raised the issue squarely and answered it decisively. There are agencies which are simply unwilling to accept the NCRAC and what the community thinks it stands for.”
At the same time, he urged that the aims and the objectives of the NCRAC not be abandoned. “Too much is at stake; too much and too soon. But these aims cannot be effectuated unless there is a new attitude on the part of the agencies–a genuine desire to work together for a common purpose.”
EPSTEIN ANNOUNCES FIGHT ON DISCRIMINATION IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
A report on the activities of the NCRAC was presented by Henry Epstein, former New York State Solicitor General, who is acting chairman, succeeding Mr. Sher. He reviewed the work of the organization, and announced that at the last meeting of the executive committee, expansion of the staff was approved. He discussed the problem of quotas for Jewish students in American colleges and universities, and said that the NCRAC was working on a comprehensive, over-all program to bring about equal educational opportunities. This program, he said, is in various stages of progress and includes such recommendations as:
1. The establishment of a non-discriminatory New York State university; 2. A study of the present state tax laws to determine whether they can be amended so as to many tax exemption to educational institutions practicing discrimination against racial and religious minorities;and 3. Exploration of the desirability of establishing a lavish university, or non-sectarian university, chiefly supported by Jews.