The American Jewish Congress, the Jewish Labor Committee and the 34 other national and local Jewish organizations affiliated with the National Community Relations Advisory Council today issued a joint statement assailing Senator Joseph R. McCarthy for charging with anti-Semitism, those who criticize his Jewish investigators Roy M. Cohn and David Schine.
The statement pointed out that every American has the night to express his views regarding the statements and actions of public official or his critics has no relevance or place in such discussions, it emphasized.
“Senator McCarthy’s characterization of criticisms of Messrs. Cohn and Schine as anti-Semitism is an irrespsonsible attempt to thwart the legitimate right of criticism, ” the statement said. “The injection of religious considerations in areas where they have no pertinence is a favorite device of demagogues. It is sadly ironic that this standard stock in trade of Communists and other totalitarian societies should be employed by one who claims to be in the forefront of the fight to preserve democratic institutions.
“As responsible Jewish bodies, we have never hesitated to challenge and identify those who falsely inject religious or racial issues into a discussion of national affairs. We condemn such attempts to mislead the American people and denounce such fraudulent efforts to confuse and distort public opinion. We shall continue with equal vigor to expose anti-Semitism and false charges of anti-Semitism from whatever source they may emanate, ” the statement concluded.
The National Council of Jewish Women, in a telegram to Sen. McCarthy, said: “One of the inexcusable devices of demagoguery is to avoid meeting public criticism on an issue by charges unrelated to it.” It added: “As American citizens, the Jews of the United States are accustomed to taking their chances in public life on the basis of merit and character. Nothing could be more inflammatory of anti-Semitism than the kind of irrelevant charge which you have made.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.