The Jewish War Veterans of the United States will continue to urge the United States to take the lead in securing establishment of a Middle East defense organization, Harry T. Madison, its newly-elected commander, pledged last night at the concluding session of the organization’s 58th annual convention.
Mr. Madison, a Detroit businessman and communal leader, succeeds Jesse Moss of New York as national commander. Reubin Kaminsky, of Hartford, Conn., was elected national judge advocate.
General Walter Bedell Smith, Under Secretary of State, told the convention that the United States would not disregard requests for help from any Middle Eastern state to build up its defenses. He declared, however, that one could not expect development of a Near East defense organization until many existing difficulties are worked out. He stressed that the United States would give only such help as could be used defensively and not for aggressive purposes. Such aid, he said, would come out of the newly enacted Mutual Security Administration funds.
Arthur B. Caldwell, chief of the Civil Rights Section of the Department of Justice, pledged before the convention intensification of effort for enforcement of Federal laws in the field of civil rights.
CALLS FOR STRENGTHENED LOCAL COUNCILS
Joseph F. Barr, of Washington, chairman of the JWV community relations committee, told the convention that Jewish community relations organizations in the coming years must be prepared to meet every fresh turn of Communist strategy, "with programs that will expose and defeat any attempt to confuse and divide public opinion."
He called for the strengthening of existing community relations agencies and the establishment of additional agencies in communities where they do not now exist "as the best means of achieving an effective defense against Communist activities in local communities."
While stressing the need for effective anti-Communist programs, Mr. Barr said that "the increasing boldness of bigots and ultra-nationalists" must be given equal attention by local Jewish community relations councils.
Because tensions and misunderstandings manifest themselves with far more impact in smaller communities than in large cities, he pointed out, local Jewish community councils "are far more alert to the symptoms of strife and discord." He praised existing councils for exposing and combatting bigotry and prejudice.
Resolutions praising President Eisenhower for his leadership in enactment of fair employment and emergency refugee legislation were adopted by the convention. The resolutions stressed, however, that the Administration must still meet the responsibility of showing the way to passage of permanent legislation correcting "existing inequities in the basic immigration law" and establishing permanent fair employment laws on the Federal statute books.
The convention also ratified JWV opposition to the bill pending in Congress which would restore American citizenship to the former German Bundist leader, Alfred Theodor Ex.
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.