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Foreign Policy Association Retracts Statement Offensive to Jews

The Foreign Policy Association, an important nongovernmental organization in this country devoted to interpretation of foreign affairs, today formally retracted a statement made in one of the organization’s pamphlets which stated that Communist leadership in various countries is “often Jewish.”

The statement occurs in a single sentence in a 62-page pamphlet published by the FPA. The brochure entitled “Africa: World’s Last Frontier,” was written by John Scott, well-known American foreign correspondent who is a special assistant to the publisher of Time magazine. Discussing opposition parties in the Union of South Africa, Mr. Scott had written that some of the opposition comes from “Communist-led leftists” and declared: “The leadership is mostly white and, as in similar groups in Europe, often Jewish.”

Last week the District of Columbia School Board in Washington, D.C., ordered the pamphlet withdrawn from the school system because of that sentence. Today, John W. Nason, president of the Foreign Policy Association, issued the following statement:

“The sentence referring to Communist leadership in South Africa has been interpreted as anti-Semitic. The FPA regrets that it did not catch the one sentence in question before it appeared and led to unfortunate misunderstanding. The offensive part of the sentence is irrelevant to the general subject being discussed and is not confirmed by supporting evidence in the publication. It should have been excised from the text.”

Mr. Nason declared that the FPA considered the idea of publishing a retraction in a subsequent issue of its publications “but concluded that such a retraction would spread the statement more widely, and hence was unwise. In our Judgment, inserting a subsequent retraction would merely call attention to the statement and do more harm than good.”

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