CINCINNATI (May. 10)
The American Jewish Committee, at the closing session of its national executive committee here last night, adopted a statement strongly assailing "hate groups" which masquerade in the United States under the cloak of patriotism.
Characterizing "hate groups" as an "insidious growth" of major concern to all Americans, the AJC leaders declared that these groups "strive to promote racial and religious bigotry, " and in some cases "under the cloak of patriotism" have obtained support "from individuals of standing in the community."
"These organizations frequently misuse legitimate issues and pervert them to divisive aims, " the AJC statement declared. "Their claims to fight Communism, to guard our economic welfare, to defend our schools, are masquerades for their destructive anti-democratic purposes. We call on all Americans to remain alert to the hidden purposes of these instruments of discord and bigotry which undermine our national unity."
Former Federal Judge Simon H. Rifkind of New York, chairman of AJC’s administrative committee, sharply attacked private vigilante groups who "without authority, without trial, and without the procedures of justice convict and punish their neighbors," "Private action to punish lawbreakers," he asserted, "inevitably degenerates into brutality and injustice. After long struggle such vigilantism as the Ku Klux Klan has been suppressed but in recent years the Communist threat has again evoked the danger of private action."
Dr. John Slawson, executive vice president of the American Jewish Committee, warned that the new "unity" line of the Communist Party called for infiltration of Communists into all walks of American life, including both major political parties. The new tactic, he said is designed "to strengthen the phony ‘peace’ offensive now being conducted by Russia to neutralize opposition to her fundamental design of world conquest.
"A parallel danger," he reported, "is the exploitation of the Communist threat by demagogues who, under the guise of fighting Communism, subvert our civil liberties and, by spreading suspicion and mistrust among the American people, weaken our power to deal effectively with the Communist menace, "