WASHINGTON (Oct. 25)
Treasury Secretary George P. Schultz and Internal Revnue Commissioner Johnnie M. Walters were sued in United States District Court today by a group of seven anti-Zionists to ban exemptions of US taxes on funds collected in the US by the United Jewish Appeal and the United Israel Appeal. The suit demands that Schultz and Walters “collect all sums now due and owing” as a result of tax exemptions, “plus damages and interest.” The plaintiffs estimated that this totals $2.5 billion to date and that the exemptions “cost the American public a quarter of a billion dollars a year.”
The plaintiffs charged that “the US government is fostering racial discrimination in financially aiding the Israel Zionist program to keep Israel a ‘purely’ Jewish State in an ethnic sense,” adding that “the targets of this discrimination are the Palestinians, chiefly Arabs.” Sale of Israel government bonds, foreign aid, loans, grants and transfers “currently going” to Israel are not included in the suit. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency called the UJA for a response and was told there would be no immediate official comment.
The plaintiffs include Norman F. Dacey of South bury, Conn., author of a full-page ad last June in the New York Times condemning aid to Israel; Prof. Ibrahim Abu Lughod, assistant director of the African Studies Department of Northwestern University; Prof. Norton Mezvinsky of Connecticut State College; Prof. Isham Sharabi of Georgetown University here; the Rev. L. Humphrey Waltz, Presbyterian minister of Janesville. Wis.; and Michael K. Ross, Seattle lawyer and Washington State legislator.
Abdeen M. Jabara of Detroit, who represented the plaintiffs at a news conference today, is a lawyer of Lebanese descent and is president of Arab American University Graduates, a national organization. He denied affiliation with the fedayeen. Although the plaintiffs and Jabara charged that UJA money was promoting “racial discrimination,” the attorney refused under questioning to define to which race Jews belong. He also sidestepped questions about whether he had ever protested oppression of Jews in Arab States.