NEW YORK (Jul. 9)
The American Jewish Congress has called on the Jewish community to “respond warmly” to the call by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for a strengthening of ties between the Black and Jewish communites.
“We welcome the NAACP’s call to its members to retain the close historical ties between Black and Jewish communities,” AJCongress executive director Henry Siegman said. “At a time of tension and mistrust, it is an important reminder that the stake of Blacks, Jews and other minorities have in a responsible and mutually respectful political discourse far trancends the differences that we may have.”
The NAACP, which met last week in Kansas City, Mo. for its 70th annual convention, adopted a resolution at its closing session calling on its local branches to create coalitions and help “our Jewish counterparts in all areas of relevance to our communities, civil rights in general and human rights in particular.”
NAACP officials acknowledged that the resolution was significant in view of the deterioration of relations between the two communities. Factors which have helped exacerbate these tensions include anti-Semitic remarks made last month by Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan, who is a supporter and political ally of the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Jackson, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination, also made disparaging remarks about Jews, whom he referred to as “Hymies” and to New York as “Hymietown.” Farrakhan referred to Judaism as a “gutter religion” and declared Israel an “outlaw” nation.