American Civil Libertarian Says Jews ‘swing to the Right’
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American Civil Libertarian Says Jews ‘swing to the Right’

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A leading American civil libertarian deplores “the slow but perceptible swinging of the Jewish community to the right,” a move which, he says, places Jews and Jewish organizations “largely on the wrong side of the great civil rights issues of the day.”

Joseph Rauh Jr., general counsel of the Leadership Council on Civil Rights and a former national chairman of the Americans for Democratic Action, will elaborate on his views tonight in an address to the Jewish Community Council of Milwaukee, Wise., an umbrella group encompassing major local and national Jewish organizations.

Rauh, who is Jewish, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that his address would mark “The first time I’ve spelled out my concern in such detail.” He said he was “speaking as an individual Jew who has devoted his life to civil rights.”

In the advance text of his Milwaukee address which he made available to the JTA. Rauh attacks “The brigade of wealthy Jews who chose to fore-sake their long-time allegiance to the liberal Democratic Party last fall and gave vast sums to defeat a candidate (Sen. George McGovern) whose crime was to propose some modicum of redistribution of wealth.”

Rauh was a strong supporter of Sen. McGovern who received about two-thirds of the Jewish vote, considerably less than previous Democratic Presidential candidates.

Rauh also scores “those who, in the misguided view that they were helping Israel, supported the outrageous military assaults on Asia” and “those who today lead the cheers for the chief Senatorial spokesman for the military-industrial complex, Henry Jackson, in the hopeful expectation that he will one day be their Presidential candidate.”


Sen. Jackson, a Washington Democrat, is the author of the Jackson Amendment that would deny U.S. trade benefits and credits to the Soviet Union until it removes restrictions on emigration.

Rauh also criticizes the influential magazine “Commentary,” published by the American Jewish Committee. Quoting the view of John Morsell, a leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored-People (NAACP), Rauh says in his address that “Commentary” is “dampening the receptivity of liberal whites to the thesis that race is as critical an issue as it ever was.”

As examples of “current Jewish reaction” Rauh cites cases involving housing, busing and employment. He observes that “No one in America” is “in favor of quotas” which are “at best confusing and at worst deliberately misleading.” But he backs the concepts of goals and time-tables advanced by Vernon Jordan, a leader of the National Urban League.

“Goals and time-tables,” Rauh says, “are simply standards for the measurement of progress of government and other employers in overcoming past discrimination against Blacks and other minorities and women. They are a means of measuring progress and, unlike quotas, they are flexible.”

“No one is suggesting that anybody hire or promote unqualified people,” Rauh says. “But just like the preference for veterans among qualified applicants in the civil service, so goals and time-tables support Black preference among qualified applicants in order to remedy past discrimination.”

Rauh concludes that “The descendants of Jewish ghettos upon whom American democracy has shone so brightly and to whom it has brought so much prosperity and happiness must not be found, wanting when the rights of the less fortunate are at stake.”

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