WASHINGTON (Nov. 28)
The need for revision of United States immigration laws in the light of the cruelties now taking place in Hungary and Egypt was emphasized here today at the closing session of the 43rd annual meeting of Anti Defamation. League of B’nai B’rith.
Benjamin R. Epstein, ADL national director, told the delegates that the plight of the Jews escaping from Egypt and of the Hungarians who are seeking asylum in other countries dramatizes the need for such a revision. He pointed out that the United States had acted in the case of the Hungarian refugees despite quotas of immigration laws.
The convention adopted a resolution urging the Justice Department "to institute action at the earliest moment" against certain White Citizens Councils "in accordance with the recent policy decision of the Department to prosecute those who interfere with the right of all American citizens to equality of treatment affirmed in the recent Supreme Court decisions." The resolution stated that evidence in the League’s possession "indicates a clear pattern of illegal and subversive activities on the part of certain White Citizens Councils. Coupled with their anti-Negro, anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic programs," it said, "is the illegal purpose to deprive American citizens by force and violence of their Constitutional rights to equal protection of the law."
Henry Edward Schultz, who was re-elected national chairman at the four-day meeting of the ADL, told the delegates last night that American democracy "is creating a Jewish life different from any of the great Jewries of the past, but one of unparalleled opportunity for growth and creativity." That the most significant face in the current development of American Jewish life is the shift of the Jewish population from old patterns of "insulated urban concentrations" to the suburbs. The move, he said, is producing closer associations of Jews with their non-Jewish neighbors as well as developing greater Jewish participation in Jewish communal life.
Mr. Schultz declared that though Jews are discriminated against in some areas of life, they have achieved real progress as a group with status in the population. He said the changing patterns have outmoded the "philosophical question–can Judaism survive in America’s permissive environment? Today the question is the realistic one: how do we create a living Judaism in a free American environment?" he declared.
Samuel Greenburg of New York, chairman of the league’s finance committee, presented the ADL budget of $2,672,000, explaining that it would permit increased services in combating social and economic discrimination.