WASHINGTON (Oct. 25)
The Air Force admitted yesterday that American television programs rebroadcast for Air Force personnel at Wheelus Air Base in Libya, delete the word “Jew” or “Jewish” or any other reference to Judaism, in order not to offend the “sensitivities” of Libyans.
The admission was made in a letter from Libya by Col. B. M. Kilgore, chief of the Air Force information division, to Senator Jacob K. Javits, New York Republican, who had complained against such practices. Asserting he had not checked specific complaints made in a letter to Sen. Javits from a Jewish serviceman in Libya, Col. Kilgore said he was “sure they (the deletions) were made. ” He denied, however, that there was “censorship” of U. S. Air Force broadcasts in Libya.
“I am sure we will be guided by whatever is required to keep our relationship proper with the Libyan Government, ” he added in his communication to Sen. Javits. “We have great stakes there. We are doing the best we can to keep our relationship good with the Government and ensure that there is no discrimination against any of our men.”
According to the complaint received by Sen. Javits, and forwarded to the Air Force, one American television program rebroadcast in Libya had the word “Jew” deleted 18 times. The serviceman also told Sen. Javits: “There was one show that had a bar mitzvan on it. My wife cried when they cut the whole thing. ” Another serviceman wrote that, in a rebroadcast of a program dealing with the life of Albert Einstein, the Air Force deleted “all reference to his Jewishness.”