ADL Chairman Says Charge of ‘informer’ Relic of Medieval Times

The chairman of the B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League replied forcefully today to Jewish groups which criticized the defense agency recently for “informing” on members of the militant Jewish Defense League to the FBI. Seymour Graubard, addressing the annual plenary meeting of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council of which the ADL is a constituent, said the charges of “informer” raised “serious questions of principle.” He termed the precept that Jews should not “inform” on other Jews a relic of medieval times when Jews “were universally the victims of anti-Semitism” and “the State was the enemy of the Jew.” Its application to a Jewish community in the U.S., he added “suggests there is a similarity” between the American government and medieval regimes, a “comparison all of us reject out of hand.” Graubard asked if the JDL’s “violent activities” had been the work of non-Jewish groups, “would there be any question of our responsibility to respond to inquiries by a government agency about them? Are there separate criteria for Jews and non-Jews?” Grubard said the ADL was criticized for having responded to an FBI request for information about the JDL. He said the information it supplied was “inconsequential.” It merely confirmed the identity of three local JDL leaders in the Philadelphia area who had already been so designated in newspaper stories.

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