ADL Convention Discusses Anti-semitism, Civil Liberties
Menu JTA Search

ADL Convention Discusses Anti-semitism, Civil Liberties

Download PDF for this date

A symposium on anti-Semitism and civil liberties in the United States was started here last night at the 40th anniversary convention of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League which is being attended by more than 1,000 persons.

Judge Meier Steinbrink, former chairman of the ADL, reviewing anti-Jewish activities in the United States since the founding of Israel, reported that native professional anti-Semites are echoing a campaign fostered by Arab diplomats in the United States who “use the Communist smear against Judai### and Zionism, repeat all the well-worn slanders and stigmatize as disloyal al Americans who sympathize with or give aid to Israel.” Mr. Steinbrink warned against “political anti-Semitism” which he described as the injection of false “Jewish questions” into national issues unrelated to Jews or Judaism as “appeals to base instincts.”

Henry E. Schultz, national chairman of the ADL, said in his annual report on religious discrimination that “though the United States in 1953 has emerged as a vastly better place in which to live, current forces of fear and hate threaten the remarkable progress of the past 40 years in human relations.”

Mr. Schultz, opening the ADL’s 40th annual meeting, said the status of minority groups have improved, but “obstructing continuing progress,” he said, are: 1. Fear of Communism combined with the inability of many Americans to recognize or understand it; 2. Strong suspicion of the intellectual “almost bordering on an anti-intellectual movement; 3, Patterns of prejudice and discrimination which are still ingrained in our culture; 4, Activities of “professional hate-mongers,” who seek to exploit economic and political tensions; 5. Those Congressional committees which–in the process of capturing headlines– spread fear and confusion nationally.

Not since the Civil War era has the American mind been “divided by such bitterness” as it is today on issues which go to the roots of American life and the meaning of American patriotism, Archibald Macleish, former Librarian of Congress, said in a keynote speech to the ADL leaders.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund