ATLANTIC CITY (Jun. 26)
The success of President Kennedy’s legislative program on civil rights before Congress depends on the vigorous demand for action by in divides in the communities to their legislative representatives “in voices that can be heard, in unmistakable terms. ” This opinion was expressed here today by Lewis H. Weinstein, chairman of the National Community Relations Advisory Council as representatives of the organization’s 64 community councils and six national agencies gathered for the 20th annual Plenary Session at the Hotel Shelburne.
The four day session which opens here tomorrow will discuss, in addition to civil rights, also the effects of the recent Supreme Court decision on prayer on the individual communities, the current attitudes and make-up of the American Catholic community, and a report on current activities of right-wing groups. Several major resolutions will be presented to the delegates, including such topics as civil rights, the Middle East, immigration, federal aid to education, and Soviet anti-Semitism.
Mr. Weinstein, a member of the executive committee of President Kennedy’s Committee on Equal Opportunity in Housing, called the Negroes’ struggle for equal rights “one of the major concerns facing the American Jewish community, indeed the entire American community, during the coming year. He urged individuals to communicate with their Senators and Congressmen, participate in organizational study and action groups, and make their voice felt in the expression of democratic rights.
He recognized that each community must determine its own steps in bringing about the necessary implementation of the Supreme Court decision and legislation. “North and South have an equal burden in dealing with this national problem but act they must or our nation may face a racial civil war which could give comfort to the extremist racist groups in this nation as well as those totalitarian forces which are ever threatening to undermine our democratic foundations; ” he said.
WILL STUDY JEWISH COMMUNITY APPROACHES TO NEGRO DEMANDS
Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will address the meeting tomorrow. The gathering, through three work-shops geared for large, intermediate, and small communities, will discuss the implications of the current Negro demands and approaches for the Jewish community.
Another area that should be closely watched by the American Jewish community was pointed out by Isaiah M. Minkoff, NCRAC executive vice-chairman. He called for continued close vigilance in protecting the rights of the State of Israel in the Middle East.
“Thus far, ” Mr. Minkoff said, “Arab political power has been built upon the single theme of hatred and destruction of Israel. It is time the Arab leaders were told by the other nations of the world that they should turn their attention to the economic and social development of their own people and lands, and not to use Israel as a scapegoat for their own shortcomings. This is what is necessary to the establishment of stability in that part of the world. It is upon such stability that a just and lasting peace can be built.”
He urged that the United States Government scrutinize its programs of aid to Middle Eastern countries so as to assure that such aid is not used to build up aggressive military forces against other states in the area.