Jewish Council Condemns Major Parties for Encouraging Jewish Bloc Voting

The Baltimore Jewish Council has condemned the efforts of both the Republican and Democratic parties in their attempts to encourage Jewish bloc voting. The special Jewish bureaus set up by each party were singled out for condemnation. “The stated positions of President Nixon and Senator McGovern on issues of direct concern to Jews are hardly distinguishable,” said the Council statement. “We therefore condemn the crude and vulgar attempts by both political parties to fashion a ‘Jewish vote,’” the statement continued.

Alan D. Hecht, president of the Baltimore Jewish Council, further explained the Council’s position by deploring the efforts of Jewish politicians and some Jewish leaders to encourage a “Jewish vote.” Jews will “vote like other Americans,” he said. “Jews of Baltimore and elsewhere have different political allegiances based upon their individual political philosophies and that is as it should be. Nobody can deliver a so-called ‘Jewish vote.” We are not, and never will be, in the hip pocket of any politician–Jewish or non-Jewish.”

Hecht expressed concern over the endeavors of politicians attempting to stimulate religious, racial and ethnic bloc voting. The Baltimore Jewish Council is an agency devoted to promoting harmonious intergroup relations and, Hecht added, “the specter of bloc voting only exacerbates intergroup tensions.”

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