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Republican Club Drops Arab Speaker; Anti-zionist Demands Probe

Alfred M. Lilienthal, an anti-Zionist and former official of the Council for Judaism, called on Attorney General Jacob Javits today to investigate an alleged “threat” which he said had led the Westchester Young Women’s Republican Club to cancel an address at its annual convention last month in Bronxville by Omar Khadra of the Saudi Arabian delegation to the United Nations.

Lilienthal asserted that the speech was cancelled after the group had received warning that the convention would be picketed. He called on the Attorney General to investigate the threat to freedom of speech and reveal the name of the organization which had made the threats. Miss Margaret Calnan, vice president of the Republican group, who received the alleged telephone threats, termed Lilienthal’s demand “ridiculous.” She dented that any organization had threatened to picket the meeting.

Other sources here said Khadra’s appearance had been cancelled when it was pointed out that the club would come under serious criticism for failing to give both sides a hearing on a controversial issue. Khadra was later invited to speak before the White Plains Rotary Club and warned his hearers then against Zionist attempts to restrict freedom of speech in this country.

The Westchester Zionist Region took notice of the episode by adopting a resolution affirming “the traditional American doctrine of free speech” which, it pointed out, “is consonant with Zionist principles.” It stressed that public platforms should be “open and unrestricted to the presentation of all points of view on public issues.”

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