WASHINGTON (Aug. 9)
The Democratic National Committee’s executive committee today adopted a resolution dissociating the party from anyone who preaches anti-Semitism or any other form of bigotry.
The 42 members of the executive committee approved the resolution in a telephone poll conducted by DNC chairman Charles Manatt, at the urging of the Democratic party’s candidate for the Presidency, former Vice President Walter Mondale, according to a DNC spokesperson.
The resolution reads: “The Democratic party takes this opportunity to reaffirm its adherence to pluralistic principles and to repudiate and completely dissociate itself from people who perform all forms of bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism.”
The Democrats were criticized last month by Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, for not adopting such a resolutions at the DNC meeting which immediately followed the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.
Hier and Timothy Hagen of Cleveland, co-chairman of the Ohio Mondale campaign, had prepared the resolution which Hagen was to have introduced at the convention. Instead, Hier charged there was an agreement that the resolution would be adopted at the DNC meeting.
However, the resolution was not mentioned at the meeting and Manatt simply referred to Mondale’s acceptance speech the night before in which he deplored bigotry and prejudice. There were charges that the Democrats failed to act because of objections from supporters of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who considered the resolution an attack on them.
Later, Manatt sent a letter to Hier in which he said, “I want to assure you of my own commitment — personally and on behalf of the Democratic Party — to oppose any form of bigotry, racism, discrimination or anti-Semitism.”
GOP PLATFORM TO HAVE STRONG ANTI-BIAS PLANK
The Republicans took full advantage of the Democrat’s failure to act, with Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R.NY) announcing that he had proposed a similar resolution for the Republican party platform.
Rep. Trent Lott (R.Miss.), chairman of the platform committee for the Republican National Committee, said today the platform which will be presented to the convention in Dallas August 21, will have “strong language” against “anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry,” which he noted the Democrats had failed to do.
A DNC spokesperson said today that Mondale, in a telegram to Manatt, had noted that the Democratic party rules made it impossible to consider at the convention any resolution that had not been approved earlier by the appropriate committee. Mondale said that it was agreed that the party should issue a statement that would effectively place it on record against anti-Semitism.
“Unfortunately, in the excitement and confusion following the adjournment of the convention, adequate steps were not taken … to make sure that the resolution was considered at the meeting held the next day,” Mondale said. He added that while “I agree wholeheartedly” with Manatt’s statement at the DNC meeting, and his later letter to Hier, he believed “more” was needed and thus urged the special vote.
PREDICT STRONG STATEMENT BY REAGAN
At a press conference in the Capitol, Lott said that the Republican platform will be presented to the delegates August 20, the opening day of the convention and the day before it is to be voted upon. He said hearings will be held in Dallas next week and the final draft will be written at the end of the hearings.
Earlier, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was told by Ben Waldman, executive director of the National Jewish Coalition for Reagan-Bush, that his group proposed a resolution against anti-Semitism even before the Democratic convention. “We had no idea the Democrats would not approve it,” he said. But he said once the Democrats did not, it became “imperative” for the Republicans to take a stand. Waldman predicted that President Reagan would make a strong statement against anti-Semitism in his acceptance speech.
Hyman Bookbinder, Washington representative of the American Jewish Committee, who attended the meeting in San Francisco at which the Democratic Party officials endorsed the resolution condemning anti-Semitism, said today, “I am gratified that now both political parties will be on record as rejecting and repudiating anti-Semitism.”