NEW YORK (Jan. 24)
“Zionism’s Jewish nationalism and its spokesmen” and not the American Council for Judaism have created the issue of “dual loyalties” it was asserted today in an American Council for Judaism statement released by Lessing J. Rosenwald, president. The statement was a reply to recent charges by the National Community Relations Advisory Council.
The Council challenged the NCRAC’s claims to representing “the overwhelming majority of American Jews.” It questioned the NCRAC’s right “to establish itself as supreme arbiter and censor, sitting in judgment on American Jews” and it declared that it had been condemned by the NCRAC without a hearing.
Charging the NCRAC with confusing the issue, the Council denied that either philanthropic support of Jews in Israel or objective recognition of Israel’s accomplishments are involved. “The issues are whether American Jews may give such philanthropy needed by our fellow Jews in Israel and elsewhere, without being corralled as a nationality-minority bloc in the United States.” The Council’s statement acknowledged “the worthy accomplishments of the state of Israel during the brief period of its statehood.”
The NCRAC charge that the Council has cast doubts on the loyalty of American Jews “is manufactured out of the whole cloth,” the Council’s statement said. “Nowhere and at no time has the American Council for Judaism created the issue of ‘dual loyalties.’ It is Zionism’s Jewish nationalism and its spokesman in the United States and Israel who follow the Zionist mandate ‘to strengthen and foster Jewish national sentiment and consciousness,’” the statement emphasized.
The Council ascribed the NCRAC’s action to “Zionist efforts to involve leaders of so-called non-Zionist organizations.” The debate will not end with the NCRAC’s resolution, the statement asserted. “The American Council for Judaism will meet the challenge of Jewish nationalism in the American way, in the spirit of democracy, with open discussion and free debate,” it added, pointing out that the Council is willing to meet with the NCRAC Vat any time that the NCRAC is prepared to discuss the problem impartially and objectively.”