CHICAGO (Aug. 8)
A strong pro-Israel plank, including the provision of American arms to Israel, seems certain to be adopted by the Democratic National Convention, it became evident here today during the hearings held by the Convention’s platform and resolutions committee prior to the opening of the conclave next Monday.
President Clarence Coleman, Jr., of the American Council for Judaism was sharply criticized today by Democratic platform leaders for taking their time with what they believed to be negative and anti-Zionist accusations. This came about when Mr. Coleman questioned the loyalty of American supporters of Israel.
Mayor David Lawrence of Pittsburgh, a member of the platform committee, told Mr. Coleman that there was nothing wrong with an American Jew supporting Israel. Mayor Lawrence referred to the fact that he is himself an honorary United Jewish Appeal chairman, has sold Israel-bonds and has been active in Irish independence movements, feeling all this consistent with good Americanism. Mayor Lawrence accused Alfred M. Lilienthal, who gave anti-Zionist testimony, of deserting his own people.
Representative John E. Moss of California, of the platform committee, joined in expressing displeasure that Mr. Coleman took the committee’s time to question the wisdom and loyalty of members of the committee by suggesting that their pro-Israel sentiments were not in the interests of the United States.
CHAIRMAN OF PLATFORM COMMITTEE REFUTES ANTI-ISRAEL ARGUMENTS
Rep. John W. McCormack, chairman of the Convention’s platform committee, suggested that Mr. Coleman’s premise of dual loyalty was incorrect. He asked the Council for Judaism president if it were not consistent with the national interest of America that a democratic Israel should survive. He also publicly reprimanded Mr. Lilienthal, spokesman for the “Committee for Security and Justice in the Middle East,” who sought to use the committee hearings as forum against Israel.
Mr. Lilienthal blamed American support of Israel for Nasser’s extremism and the penetration of the Middle East by Communism. He urged a bipartisan agreement to keep the Israel issue out of politics and demanded more time than allocated to him by the committee chairman in which to testify.
Rep. McCormack told him with regard to the demand for more time “you are not going to dictate to this committee.” Rep. McCormack said further that the witness came here with “a provocative intent” but that the committee had listened in the “good American way.” When Mr. Lilienthal sought to bring out that he was of the Jewish faith, the chairman ruled that mention and injection of the Jewish religion in this way was “irrelevant and un-American.”
Rep. McCormack said that the witness went out of his way to agitate in a manner not conducive to the national well-being and indicated that the witness should know that it would be exploited by the lunatic fringe of anti-Semtism. A delegate from Puerto Rico arose and said he wished to express Puerto Rico’s great admiration for Israel and Zionism and announced that Puerto Rican delegates would vote against any plank urged by Mr. Lilienthal.
The condemnation of anti-Zionist testimony before this hearing is believed the strongest political repudiation of anti-Zionist agitation in American political history.