Dr. Wexler Terms Magazine Article on B’nai B’rith a Distortion and Filled with Innuendos

An article claiming that the B’nai B’rith was used as a “front” for political activities on behalf of Israel and Soviet Jewry in violation of federal laws was labeled “distortion” by the organization today. The article appeared May 18 in The National Observer, a weekly newspaper published by the Dow Jones Co. which is widely read by American businessmen. A B’nai B’rith spokesman said the charges were answered by Dr. William A. Wexler, national president of the fraternal and service organization in a letter to the editors of The National Observer. Dr. Wexler wrote that the “false charges and innuendos” were taken from pre-trial depositions of a “disgruntled employee” without reporting that “the same pre-trial court record revealed that every one of the plaintiffs material allegations is denied under oath.”

The writer of the article, Lawrence Mosher, quoted at length from documents filed with the Federal District Court in Washington in the case of Saul Joftes. former secretary general of B’nai B’rith’s International Council, who is suing B’nai B’rith executive vice president Rabbi Jay Kaufman, for libel. A spokesman for the organization said the employee was dismissed after filing the million dollar libel suit. Mr. Joftes had been employed by B’nai B’rith for 22 years. Dr. Wexler noted in his letter, according to the B’nai B’rith spokesman, that allegations similar to those made in The National Observer article had been publicly rejected at the United Nations last February when an Arab-Soviet block sought to expel B’nai B’rith from its 22 year-status as an accredited non-governmental body. Dr. Wexler wrote that “the plain purpose” of the Arab-Soviet bloc at that time “was to punish B’nai B’rith for its effective support of Israel and its campaign against anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union and the persecution of Jews in Arab lands.”

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