JOHANNESBURG (Apr. 24)
A Nationalist Party official today apologized for an anti-Semitic attack made in Parliament by a leading Nationalist deputy last week. However, the apology by J. Deklerk, secretary of the party in the Transvaal, excused the attack on the Jews on the grounds that a Jewish M.P. had provoked Nationalist deputy 3. Liebenberg into declaring that the Jews were “biting the Afrikaner hand that hade made them fat.”
Mr. Deklerk insisted that an attack on the Finance Minister and other Afrikaner members of the government by Bernard Friedman, opposition M.P., had been unjustified. He added that “since it has been in office, the Nationalist Party has made an honest attempt to promote good understanding between Jew and Afrikaner.”
Citing the example of Eric Louw, “who is considered by some Jews an inveterate anti-Semite,” he said that since Mr. Louw became Minister of Economic Affairs he has shown that he will not discriminate against members of the Jewish community in economic matters. “On the contrary,” he said, “his policies have been such that no Jew could feel that Minister Louw is unsympathetic.”
Mr. Deklerk, who said it was “unfortunate that this bone of contention has arisen,” promised a second statement on the situation after he studies the official report of the remarks by Liebenberg and Friedman.
Meanwhile, the tendency to attribute to the Jewish community the views expressed by individual Jews or non-Jews with Jewish sounding names in the current constitutional crisis is causing concern in the Jewish community. The Jewish press has several times underlined the right of an individual to speak for himself without the racial group to which he belongs being held responsible for his statements.