New York (Jun. 14)
Members of the New York City Council, angered by the gibe that New York did not want “too many” Jews made by British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin the British Labor Party convention this week, will consider action on the slur at the next meeting of the Council, on June 21, it was announced today.
The announcement followed a statement by Mayor O’Dwyer last night expressing astonishment at Bevin’s remark. “What right has he to say what New York City thinks of the Jewish people?” the Mayor said. He talks like Joe McWilliams and is just as wrong. New York City is proud of its Jewish people and with good reason. The people of New York do not feel as Mr. Bavin does. We do feel, however, that with the struggle going on everywhere in Europe, if 100,000 of these unfortunate people, who have gone through so much suffering, want to go to Palestine and the people of Palestine want them there, they should be helped to get there at the earliest possible moment. That’s how the people of New York feel about it.”
Justice Meir Steinbrink, chairman of the Eastern Regional board of directors of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith issued a statement accusing Bevin of fomenting ugly bigotry of the Hitler variety” in the “brazenly anti-Semitic” statement issued as part of his rejection of the plan to admit 100,000 Jews into Palestine. The statement of the Foreign Minister fans the flame of bigotry and prejudice,” Steinbrink charged. “Its purpose is to divide Americans and set religious creeds against one another.”
Bevin’s allusion to the agitation in New York for 100,000 Jews to be moved to Palestine was attacked by the Workman’s Circle, Jewish labor fraternal group with the membership of 70,000, in a message sent to Prime Minister Attlee. The message, which was signed by the president of the organization, Ephis E. Jechurin, and its general secretary, Joseph Baskin, called the reference “a patent slur” and urged Mr. Attlee to disassociate himself from Bevin’s remark.