Group Libel Bill Criticized by Joint Committee to Combat Anti-semitism

A group libel bill introduced in the House last month by Rep, Arthur G. Klein was criticized today by the Joint Committee to Combat anti-Semitism which said the bill “tends to frustrate any serious effort to outlaw the dissemination of anti-Semitic and other anti-racial propaganda.” The Klein measure as based on a study by the American Jewish Congress and was co-sponsored by Reps. Jacob K. Javits, Kenneth B. Keating, William Damson and Eugene J. Keogh.

In its statement, the Joint Committee charged that the “bill failed to mate a single reference to anti-Semitism and cited one clause in the bill as particularly objectionable, The clause reads: “No person shall be convicted if such a statement referring to libelous statements) is true, or honestly believed by him, upon reasonable grounds, to be true.” The Joint Committee also asserted that the bill was “completely unenforceable” and “presents anti-Semites with a positive mandate to be spread anti-Semitism in an aura of legal sanction.”

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