NEW YORK (Nov. 19)
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith today reported “a marked increase during the past two years in the scope of American anti-Jewish activities, incidents, organizations, and publications.” According to Lawrence Peirez, chairman of the League’s Fact Finding Committee, “the emerging dimensions of the threat to the security of American Jewry are disturbing and cannot be regarded as negligible.”
Addressing a session of the League’s 59th annual meeting, which opened Friday at the Waldorf Astoria and ends tomorrow, Peirez told 200 ADL leaders that: anti-Semitism is no longer largely limited to the far right; a major component Is the heavily increasing flow of Arab and Soviet propaganda; and a major trend is the use of euphemisms such as the terms “anti-Zionist” and “anti-Zionism” when “anti-Jewish” and “anti-Judaism” are really meant.
While there was keen sensitivity to anti-Semitism following the Nazi period, many reputable individuals and institutions, Including government agencies, today are indifferent or callously disregard the concerns, feelings and interests of the Jewish community, Peirez noted. His summary was based on an investigation of current manifestations of anti-Semitism in the United States conducted by the League under the direction of Arnold Forster, the agency’s general counsel.
Forster said he traced the most Important sources of hostility toward Jews to “broadsides from the Soviet and Arab worlds.” He said that “Moscow has inundated forums of opinion in this country, including the United Nations, with ancient canards about Jewish financial Influence and outrageous comparisons between Israel and Hitler’s Germany.” From the Arab world, he continued, an endless stream of raw anti-Semitism and blatant untruths about Israel and the Mideast conflict finds its way into America’s campuses, lecture circuits, mass media–and ultimately to its grass roots.”
ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE ELECTIONS
Peirez said that “incredible as It may seem, in the wake of the massacre of Israeli Olympic team members at Munich some respectable commentators in the press, television, radio and among some clergymen showed a striking capacity to play down the savagery of the terrorists actions and to play up their supposed ‘root causes’–a thrust similar to the propaganda litany used by the terrorists themselves to Justify their actions.”
Peirez said that a number of extremist groups had used the 1972 election campaigns to advance anti-Jewish purposes. Foremost among these, he declared, was the American Party and its presidential candidate, John Schmitz, who received more than one million votes. Describing both as “Instruments of the John Birch Society,” Peirez said that Schmitz and his running mate, Tom Anderson, both officials of the Birch Society, had based their campaign on a Birch-distributed book, “None Dare Call It Conspiracy.” According to Peirez, the book “is saturated with anti-Semitism of the kind disseminated by anti-Jewish propagandists for more than 60 years.”
Peirez also pointed out that J.B. Stoner, a longtime anti-Jewish agitator, a former Ku Klux Klan organizer, and a Democratic primary candidate in Georgia for the U.S. Senate, used blatant anti-black and anti-Jewish radio and television campaign appeals, and amassed 40,000 votes.
He further stated that the Communist Party and the Socialist Workers Party (Trotskyist) ran Presidential candidates who engaged In bitter anti-Israel appeals. The SWP, he said, called for the outright destruction of Israel; the CP stopped short of that extreme, but just barely. The positions of both parties regarding Jews and Israel, he asserted, have crossed the line into outright anti-Semitism.