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N.c.r.a.c. Calls on Jewish Groups to Expose Extremist Rightists

Jewish civic and religious organizations were called upon here today to join with like-minded community groups in a campaign of exposure and counteraction to offset mounting and increasingly successful radical right activities during the past year in smaller American cities. Delegates at the 21st annual meeting of the National Community Relations Advisory Council here were presented for the third year in a row with a study report on recent activities of extremist groups.

The report from 18 communities and 14 states showed that “radical right forces are probably somewhat stronger today than they were a year ago, with a particularly noticeable increase in strength evident in the east.” The report called upon local and national Jewish organizations to set up new machinery to watch the activities of the John Birch Society and other right-wing groups; prepare materials to counter attacks by these groups; and seek broader cooperation with other community agencies to carry out this work and to increase educational programs to “convince the Jewish community and others of the threat posed directly to Jews by extremists.”

“The radical-right must be combatted on the community level,” Mr. Benjamin Epstein, national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, told the delegates. “The ADL is gearing itself for a counter-attack with point by point answers to the extremists wherever they attack and wherever help is requested.” He called upon the member NCRAC agencies, local and national, to join in this campaign. “We shall have to be vigilant, and detect instantly symptoms of this large-scale rightist attack on the American mind,” he said. Mr. Emanuel Muravchik, national director of the Jewish Labor Committee, concurred that the radical right requires “watching and counteracting, as does every anti-democratic force in our country.” He minimized, however, the dangers presented by these groups, saying, “there is no possibility today that these forces can dominate in the United States.”

Aaron Goldman, NCRAC chairman, addressing the opening session, called for the creation of on international body of Jewish religious and civic organizations representing communities throughout the world for the purpose of uniting action on problems of mutual concern to the Jewish people. He told the delegates that the closeness of nations “has made it obvious that what affects Jews anywhere affects Jews everywhere.”

The Jewish leader noted the existence of a number of international Jewish cooperative bodies. “But,” he said, “what is today widely needed is an inclusive coordinating mechanism embracing Jewish communities and organizations of all countries in an ongoing relationship for interconsultation, mutual study of problems, Joint agreement on goals and coordinated pursuit of programs on the international scene.”

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