NEW YORK (Jun. 1)
Jimmy Carter, the current front-runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination, has strongly criticized former Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew for making “false malicious, anti-Semitic remarks.” The former Governor of Georgia made his comments in a letter to Seymour Graubard, national chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League and Benjamin R. Epstein, the ADL’s national director.
Agnew, who resigned the Vice-Presidency in disgrace in 1973 after pleading no contest to charges of income tax evasion, has recently alleged that Jews control the American media and exert an undue influence on foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East. In his letter, released by the ADL today, Carter said:
“Jewish Americans have added immeasurable contributions to this country in every field of professional, educational and cultural endeavor. They are as loyal to America as any other group of people in the United States. The dedication of many American Jews to the preservation of a Jewish homeland is not only understandable, but commendable, in the light of centuries of discrimination and persecution.”
Carter stressed that “The preservation of a strong and viable Israel is not only in Israel’s interest and in the interest of world Jewry, it is in the national interest of the United States as well.” He said that by claiming that Jews have too much influence in the press, Agnew was “shifting attention for the cause of his own personal downfall” from the “American system of justice” to the press. “Mr. Agnew should net take out his frustration on the religious group which all too often in the past has been the scapegoat.” he declared.
Carter urged the ADL to “continue to take strong steps to correct misconceptions and to root out the last vestiges of anti-Semitism and other discrimination.” The ADL, in releasing the letter stressed that it should not be construed as an endorsement of Carter’s candidacy. Graubard and Epstein said they welcomed Carter’s letter and were confident that it expressed the views of the overwhelming majority of the American people.