NEW YORK (Feb. 1)
The chairman of Governor Mario Cuomo’s Task Force on Bias-Related Violence warned here Saturday that “moves within the Reagan Administration to make Israel the scapegoat in the Iran arms scandal could result in a wave of anti-Semitism in the United States.”
Commissioner Douglas White, head of the New York State Division on Human Rights, spoke at a Conference on Anti-Semitism sponsored by the National Public Affairs Committee of the Workmen’s Circle. He said that “by focussing attention on the alleged role played by Israel and Israelis and making Israel the scapegoat, the Reagan Administration has created an environment which divides rather than unites us.”
The Commissioner, who is Black, also warned that “racism and anti-Semitism is deeply rooted in the psyche of this nation, and we are having trouble finding the tools to destroy the disease.”
He said he was concerned “about racism among some young Jews and anti-Semitism among some young Blacks.” He observed: “Presumably enlightened parents have permitted their children to slide into the mire of bigotry.”
Other speakers at the conference, Irwin Suall, director of the fact-finding department of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, and Harold Applebaum, special assistant to the executive vice president of the American Jewish Committee, revealed that half of the 209 cases reported to the Human Rights Division in November 1986 were “anti-Jewish in character and ranged from vandalism to physical violence.”
They also reported that according to statistics, Blacks rank first and Jews second as victims of bias-related violence in New York State, outside New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties.