ADL Scored for Giving Files to FBI; ADL Rejects ‘Invidious Interpretation’

A member of the Commission on Social Justice of the Synagogue Council of America has excoriated the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith for "fingering" members of the Jewish Defense League to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Referring to one of the documents stolen from the Media, Pa., office of the FBI, HenrySchwarzschild charged in a statement to the press that "we have here from the FBI’s own records proof that the Anti-Defamation League fingers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation fellow Jews of whose political activities they disapprove." He added that the document makes "not even an allegation of illegal conduct" on the part of the JDL’ers referred to. "A Jewish ‘intergroup-relations’ agency, funded by and acting within the American Jewish community, denounces other Jews to Mr. J. Edgar Hoover and his minions!," Schwarzschild protested. "It is approximately as though a Roman Catholic archdiocese had fingered the Berrigan brothers to the FBI." He added: "There is a long Jewish tradition of abhorrence for the mosser,’ the Jew who denounces fellow Jews to the state police." Schwarzschild is also a member of the board of the Westchester Civil Liberties Union. He lives in White Plains, N.Y.

The document referred to by Schwarzschild dated Oct. 21, 1970, is headed "United States Government Memorandum" and deals with the "Nationalistic Tendency" of the JDL. It advises "agents having individuals listed as members of JDL" to contact immediately "credit, criminal and public sources for additional identifying data on JDL members" by Oct. 26. In the memo, FBI agent Edward A. Smith wrote that "SOI" (Source of Information) Samuel Lewis Gaber, Philadelphia area director for the ADL, reported to him "that—, a teacher at Olney High School, who resides in Mt. Airy, has been active in JDL affairs…that—,also active in JDL is an attorney with office and residence in center city…(and) that one—has been active in JDL matters and resides in either Havertown or Broomall." Agent Smith concluded that "In view of Bureau instructions, new cases are being opened on—and—in order to obtain details of background and activities for evaluation…" All the names in the above sentences–plus 16 others, including "Rabbi—," are erased on the photocopy of the document distributed by Schwarzschild.

Queried by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, ADL national director Benjamin R. Epstein replied: "The FBI calls us very frequently for information in our area of concern. We cooperate with them as we do with all government agencies and with other responsible institutions and with the press. To put an indivious interpretation on such action by the ADL is mischievous and even slanderous." Arnold Forster, ADL special counsel, concurred, noting that the names given to the FBI by Gaber were a matter of public record from Philadelphia newspapers. He said that unlike the American Nazi Party and the Communist Party U.S.A., the FBI was "a responsible agency," and that it was not the ADL’s business what the FBI did with such public information obtained from the B’nai B’rith unit.

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