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National Jewish Groups Issue Sharp Statement Against American Council for Judaism

A strong condemnation of the American Council for Judaism for its “unfounded charges and innuendoes casting doubts on the loyalty of American Jews” was issued today by the National Community Relations Advisory Council, coordinating body for the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans of the United States, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and 27 local Jewish community councils throughout the country.

“The small but highly vocal group of Jewish individuals known as the American Council for Judaism has been responsible for the publication in the nation’s press of reiterated statements casting doubts on the loyalty of American Jews who have demonstrated their sympathies with Israel,” the N.C.R.A.C. said. “These statements constitute thinly veiled slurs on the allegiance of substantially the whole American Jewish community. The overwhelming majority of American Jews, Zionist and non-Zionist alike, recognizing their obligation to help Israel in the huge task of resettling and absorbing hundreds of thousands of homeless Jews, and conscious of their deep religious and cultural affinity with the Jews of Israel, are aiding in the upbuilding of that land.

“In raising the bogey of ‘dual loyalty,’ the American Council for Judaism ignores the fact that the American way of life recognizes the right of all citizens to work for such causes, consistent with the welfare and security of the United States, as engage their sympathies. Aid to Israel is such a cause. In the eyes of our government, Israel is–as a high official recently expressed it–an outpost of democracy in the Middle East.’

Charge Council With “Violating Every Principle of Truth and Decency”

“Our fellow citizens have joined American Jews in applauding the accomplishments and encouraging the efforts of the state of Israel. Indeed, leaving aside the professional anti-Semites who seize upon any pretext for fulminating against Jews, it is only in the minds of the numerically insignificant membership of the American Council for Judaism, and of the few individuals who have succumbed to the Council’s propaganda, that the specter of ‘dual loyalty’ has arisen.

“No one questions the right of the Council for Judaism, however insignificant its size, to disagree with the great majority of its fellow citizens and to hold itself aloof from their efforts. Nor does anyone question its right to seek to persuade others to its point of view. But by no extension of the principle of freedom of speech or association can any defense be made of the Council’s casting of baseless slure upon the Americanism of its fellow Jews. In this it violates every principle of truth and decency.

“The national and local Jewish organizations which join in the present statement number among their affiliates the overwhelming majority of American Jews. These organizations vigorously condemn the American Council for Judaism for its unfounded charges and innuendoes and declare them to be gross libels upon American Jewry.”

In a statement accompanying the denunciation, Irving Kane, chairman of the N.C.R.A.C., said that it was issued “after the Council for Judaism over a period of several months had persistently rejected proferred opportunities to discuss the harmful effects of its propaganda with the N.C.R.A.C.”

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