SAN FRANCISCO (Jul. 7)
The Platform Committee of the Republican National Convention today heard testimony advocating U. S. ratification of the United Nations Genocide Convention, liberalization of the immigration law, and separation of Church from State. It also heard testimony on American-Israel relations by a representative of the American Council for Judaism, who asked for the rejection of “the Jewish people concept” in the wording of the political platform to be adopted by the Republican convention, which opens here next Monday.
Testimony by representatives of pro-Israel organizations will be given tomorrow before the Platform Committee. The anti-Zionist views of the American Council for Judaism were presented to the Committee today by William S. Louchheim. He proposed the adoption by the Republican convention of a specific plank reaffirming what he said was a United States Government position that this country does not recognize the concept of a “Jewish people.”
He advocated actions to force Zionist agencies in the United States to be registered by the Government “to protect United States citizens from unwittingly serving a political and foreign nationality cause, when they believe they are advancing religion or philanthropy.” He also advocated prevention of alleged efforts of what he described as an Israeli-Zionist conspiracy to “conquer the communities” of United States Jews.
Mr. Louchheim charged that, since 1924, the United States has followed a policy of “omissions or acquiescence” in response to Zionist activities. He said that candidates for public office falsely assumed that the “voting habits of Jewish citizens in American elections are predicated upon a promise of political support for Israeli projects.”
REPRESENTATIVE OF PRO-ARAB GROUP OPPOSES DEFENSE PACT WITH ISRAEL
Harold M. Minor, testifying for the Citizens Committee on American Policy in the Near East, a pro-Arab group, told the Republican platform committee that his organization had followed closely Israel’s plans to divert Jordan River waters and noted Arab concern. He also urged implementation of United Nations resolutions with regard to Palestinian Arab refugees as “an act of justice.”
He indicated that a bilateral defense pact with Israel would “serve no useful purpose, either for the United States or any country concerned but would, instead, gravely complicate United States political relations in the area.”
He defended the “impartial” Near Eastern policy of the State Department, and deplored what he said was “intemperate criticism and charges” against the State Department and American diplomats.
Dr. Urban Whitaker, testifying for the Ad Hoc Committee on Human Rights and Genocide Treaties, representing 20 national organizations, including leading Jewish groups, urged the Republican Party to actively support international promotion of human rights and insist on U. S. ratification of the Genocide Convention and other human rights treaties now before the Senate.
Dr. Whitaker deplored the long delay in American action on Genocide pact ratification, and said “the expression of support for such conventions as these is a truly unique opportunity for a political party in 1964, because it amounts to the liberal act of projecting staunch conservative, traditional American positions onto the international scene.”
ABOLITION OF BIASED QUOTA PROVISIONS IN IMMIGRATION LAW REQUESTED
“The failure of the United States to ratify any human rights convention has become a source of acute embarrassment in a world of peoples struggling to achieve such basic rights, “he said. “No country can hope to retain a position of ideological leadership while withholding its endorsement for such fundamental human freedoms.”
A Republican plank repudiating biased immigration provisions was urged by Dr. Arthur S. Flemming, first vice-president of the National Council of the Churches of Christ. He especially deplored the quota system favoring Anglo-Saxons. He also urged continued and generous American development assistance to meet the needs of the Middle East.