NEW YORK (Sep. 17)
Jewish communities throughout the country were urged today by the National Community Relations Advisory Council–which represents six national Jewish organizations and 35 local Jewish community councils–to concentrate their community relations activities on combating anti-Jewish Arab propaganda in the United States and working for “orderly and harmonious transition to racial integration” in this country.
A plan, containing specific recommendations for carrying out these tasks, was made public by the NCRAC. The plan, representing the combined judgment of all groups affiliated with the NCRAC, sets forth also other programs designed to combat discrimination in education, employment and housing; improve inter-religious relationships; advance civil liberties; combat Communist and other subversive influences; promote good relations with labor, veterans and other organizations; work effectively with the schools; and make the best use of the mass media.
The plan lays stress on the need for Jewish community organization for community relations purposes, and places high priority upon assistance to communities in creating representative councils and developing effective local programs under their auspices.
In an introduction to the plan, Bernard H. Trager, NCRAC chairman, calls it “an expression of carefully considered judgment, based on a pooling of information, knowledge and opinion from all the NCRAC member agencies.” The agencies jointly develop the program plans, Mr. Trager commented, for their own guidance and for the guidance of Jewish agencies and communities generally.
URGES VIGOROUS ACTION AGAINST ARAB ANTI-JEWISH PROPAGANDA IN U.S.
Adopted at the NCRAC plenary session, after the session had studied reports and recommendations from 12 standing committees, the joint plan combines analysis of current developments and trends with program recommendations for dealing with the various situations described. Speaking of the developments that have flowed from the critical situation in the Middle East, the plan says:
“As the crisis in the Middle East has deepened, Arab propaganda and pressures have been steadily intensified in the United States with some effect upon the climate of American public opinion. There is evidence of a two-way exchange between the Arab propaganda-makers and some of America’s most extreme anti-Semitic hate mongers. At the same time, such pro-Arab organizations as the Friends of the Middle East have tended toward increasingly biased propaganda. The American Council for Judaism likewise has extended and intensified its propaganda.
“The peril in which the Jews of Israel find themselves has deepened and strengthened the sense of affinity, based on common tradition and common faith, which American Jews always have had with the young State. This has led many American Jews to a sympathetic and concerned study of events and developments in the Middle East which has given them a deeper understanding of the situation than is general among the American populace.”
The NCRAC plan strongly recommends that vigorous efforts be made “to secure the integrity of U.S. citizenship against encroachment by Arab governments.” To this end, it suggests extensive educational programs, stressing particularly “the repugnance to American constitutional principle of toleration by our government of discrimination by foreign states against U.S. citizens because of their religion” and special programs with religious, business, labor, veterans and other organizations in this regard.
The plan proposes also that increasing efforts be directed toward countering Arab propaganda, especially on college campuses, toward the dissemination of interpretive material to counter false Arab propaganda, and toward counteraction of the destructive activities of the American Council for Judaism.
CITES HOW JEWS IN THE SOUTH ARE AFFECTED BY INTEGRATION CONFLICT
On the question of integration, the NCRAC plan observes that opposition in the South to the Supreme Court rulings on desegregation “has spawned consequences that have gone beyond those envisaged at the time” the rulings were handed down. Pointing out that Jews in the South are affected like all white Southerners by the conflict over integration, the NCRAC notes;
“Jewish merchants and Jewish employers of Negro labor find themselves inexorably involved, moreover, in the economic squeeze of Negro and white integrationists upon which the white supremacists rely heavily as a major weapon. These Jewish businessmen are confronted with a cruel choice; go along with the Citizens Councils and lose the Negro patronage upon which many are to a large degree dependent, at the same time becoming objects of Negro enmity; or defy the Councils, which represent in many places the whole power structure of the community.”
The objective of Jewish community relations agencies, the NCRAC says, remains–as agreed among the constituent NCRAC agencies immediately after the Supreme Court decision–”to make the transition required (by that decision) as harmonious and as rapid as possible.”
It recommends that the President be called upon to summon a conference “looking toward agreement as to means of orderly implementation of the Supreme Court directives” and to “assert in clear and unambiguous language that the law must be obeyed.” It also urges federal legislation to protect the exercise of the franchise, freedom from personal molestation and the right to resort to the courts.
The joint plan calls for cooperation by Jewish community relations organizations with Christian church groups, labor unions, veterans organizations and others which can unite on a campaign of respect for law and order. It stresses particularly the need for “adequate communication and concerted planning among organizations committed to orderly compliance.”