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Chicago Jewish Leaders Accuse Jackson of ‘strident Anti-semitism’

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Jewish leaders of Chicago have accused Rev. Jesse Jackson, leader of the locally based “Operation PUSH,” of indulging in “strident anti-Semitism” in order “to divert attention from the failure of his mission to the Middle East by using the Jewish community as a scapegoat.” A statement released by the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago Public Affairs Committee noted that “Though criticized by many journalist — Black and white, Jewish and non-Jewish — who questioned his new-found role and his motives, Jackson chose to rebuke only those who are Jewish.”

The statement, issued by Joel Sprayregen PAC chairman and Robert Schrayer, JUF president, referred specifically to Jackson’s characterization of a court order to freeze PUSH’s bank account as Jewish “aggression” against him. “The Jewish community is not harassing Mr. Jackson. The attempt of a creditor to collect a past due bill is normal business practice, not aggression,” the statement said. “We do not comment upon Mr. Jackson’s acceptance of Arab funds in return for his promise to promote the PLO. That act we leave for judgement to the American people.”

What is most unfortunate about Jackson’s actions, however, the statement continued, “is that his callous attitude and scurrilous words about Jews only tend to split apart two groups who perhaps more than any others have stood side-by-side, if not eye-to-eye, on major human rights issues.

“These issues affect all Americans. Cooperative efforts between Blacks and Jews in the past have led to the just resolution of these issues. Continued cooperation is essential in order to maintain an effective coalition and we are committed to an ongoing program of dialogue and cooperation. Those who choose to divide these two groups do not act in the best interests of either.”

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