KIAMESHA LAKE, NY (Jun. 11)
The B’nai B’rith today denounced as “reprehensible,” if true, reports that the 130-year-old American Jewish service organization has been under surveillance by the Central Intelligence Agency. The reports, which appeared in several Washington and New York newspapers yesterday, did not state the purpose of the alleged surveillance or the period over which it was conducted.
(David M. Blumberg, international president of B’nai B’rith, expressed “shock and anger” today over the CIA surveillance reports. In a statement from Houston, Tex., where he is attending the centennial convention of B’nai B’rith District 7, Blumberg condemned the alleged CIA activity as “illegal in purpose, outrageous in character and an affront to the liberties that a government investigative agency is presumed to help defend.”)
A resolution unanimously adopted by 1800 Jewish community leaders from New York State and New England attending the 121st annual convention of B’nai B’rith District One at the Concord Hotel here, declared, “if necessary, legislation should be promptly forthcoming in Congress to prevent any such future surveillance of legitimate American agencies.”
NEFARIOUS UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY
Dr. Elliot Rosenberg, of Queens, NY, president of District One, said of the published reports: “It is outrageous that the CIA should engage in such a nefarious unlawful activity against America’s oldest and largest Jewish service organization with a record of 130 years of extraordinary public-service, patriotic devotion and adherence to the highest principles of the American heritage.”
Dr. Rosenberg said further that “The activities of the CIA in engaging in the surveillance of domestic agencies is contrary to law and the fundamental principles of American democracy and should be, and we are confident will be, denounced and condemned by all Americans.”
The newspaper reports referred to said that the CIA had targeted a wide variety of domestic organizations for surveillance, including B’nai B’rith. A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the report. According to some sources, the CIA was known to be interested in Israeli intelligence activities and was keeping tabs on organizations known to have regular contacts with Israel.