Menu JTA Search

Chisholm Aide Denies Bias

Thaddeus Garret. chief assistant to Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D.NY) emphatically denied to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he had made anti-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks attributed to him last month by a group of visiting Israeli lawyers. He characterized the allegations as “Junk,” “erroneous” and “completely wrong.”

The 12 lawyers who were here as guests of the U.S. Bar Association under an exchange program with the Israel Bar Association, reported on an interview they had with Garrett in Rep. Chisholm’s office. They said that among other things, Garrett had “accused Israel of inhumane acts toward Arab refugees” and had complained that “only the Arab guerrilla activities come up in the (American) press and TV” because the media is “governed by Jews.” The allegations were contained in a letter signed by E. Rubinstein, a Tel Aviv lawyer, on behalf of himself and his colleagues and sent to Rep. Chisholm.

Garrett told the JTA, “I don’t know where Rubinstein made up this Junk. Do you think I’m so dumb that I would say things like that? People who make charges that American Jews control America are the lowest types of anti-Semites.” Garrett added, “Our position is that we are very hopeful the Middle East talks will resume in Geneva, that the U.S. efforts by Secretary of State Kissinger will achieve a settlement and that the refugee situation will be resolved.”

DEFENDS ISRAEL’S RIGHTS

“Without question.” he added. “Israel should be a sovereign Jewish State with the protection and international support of whatever boundaries are agreed upon by the parties involved in the settlement talks.” Garrett noted that a representative of the American Bar Association; Peter Wright, and the director of the International Legal Exchange Program, Catherine Ebert, “were present at the meeting” with the Israeli attorneys “and can fully vouch for what took place.”

The JTA had tried twice to reach Garrett by phone in Rep. Chisholm’s office before publishing the story Nov, 7 containing the allegations by the Israeli lawyers to obtain his version but was unable to reach him. The article reported Rep. Chisholm’s position paper on “The Middle East Crisis” which she issued in 1972 when seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination and her statement that it “delineates my humanitarian attitude” towards the crisis.

Her paper and her statement were contained in her reply to Washington attorney Martin Lobel to whom the Israeli lawyers had written about the visit to her office. In her communication to Lobel, Rep. Chisholm did not mention Garrett’s views but observed that he had been “specifically” invited by the American Bar Association to speak with the visitors.”

NEXT STORY