Black Newspaper Denies It is Anti-semitic; Editorial Disclaimer Follows Article Attacking Zionism

The Philadelphia Tribune, a Black daily published here, has vigorously denied that it is anti-Semitic. The editorial disclaimer appeared following publication in the Tribune of a lengthy attack on Zionism by Bill Mathis, described as a chairman and director of Philadelphia CORE since 1965 and co-chairman of the Congress of African People.

The article was one of a series by Mathis on Black Nationalism and its purported foes. The Tribune subsequently published a refutation of Mathis’ allegations prepared by the leadership of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia.

Mathis’ article alleged a Zionist “conspiracy” which deprived the Arab peoples of their land in Palestine, charged that Israel was aligned with nations that oppress Blacks and claimed that Black ghetto dwellers were oppressed for decades by Jewish businessmen. “We were tenants–they were landlords. We were consumers, they were merchants. But never the reverse,” Mathis wrote. While noting that Blacks were oppressed by the white community generally, Mathis added that was not to say “that our friends the Jews did not also turn the screw.”

JEWS, BLACKS, DRINK FROM SAME BITTER CUP

The Tribune’s lead editorial which followed the Mathis article stated that “The Tribune is definitely not anti-Semitic and does not relish being so categorized when an item not complimentary to the Jewish people ascribed to the author is carried in its news columns. The infrequency of such articles attests to this.”

The editorial asserted: “The Tribune has always had a friendly relationship with the Jewish community…has worked with both the Jewish leadership and individual members of that ethnic and religious group with beneficial results to both our parties.” The editorial added that “Because the Jewish people have been the targets of oppression for thousands of years, they are rightfully sensitive to any adverse criticism and prone to label any criticism as being anti-Semitic. This we can understand because we, the Black ethnic segment, drink from the same bitter cup.”

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