Natalie Gordon, chair of the New York Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, today sharply condemned the injection of anti-Semitism into the New York municipal elections.
Ms. Gordon cited a news bulletin dated Aug. 7 distributed by James Lawson, a writer and president of the Harlem Council for Economic Development, in which he assailed alleged “Jewish domination” of New York City government. Quoting such Lawson statements as”… Jewish Mayor Edward Koch … Jews dominate this Board of Estimate … blatant strangle hold (sic) of unfair Jewish domination of this city … if this city fails, Jews will be rightly blamed …” Ms. Gordon called them a “new low in political invective.”
The Lawson bulletin also attacked Manhattan Borough President Andrew Stein, Comptroller Harrison Goldin, Queens Borough President Donald Manes and Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden. Ms. Gordon, called the Lawson remarks “scurrilous” and said they “have the potential for inflaming intergroup tensions.”
“It is regrettable” she continued, “that any individual or group should choose to engage in anti-Semitic statements in connection with this fall’s New York elections. ADL is appalled by the Lawson statements and feels there is absolutely no place in the legitimate political process for this kind of prejudice-peddling.”
The Lawson bulletin appealed to the community to vote for David Dinkins, Ismael Betencourt, John Esposi to and Frank Barbaro. Ms. Gordon said that the candidates, contacted by ADL, disassociated themselves from Lawson, assured the ADL that they repudiate this kind of bigotry and that they do not welcome support that smacks of anti-Semitism.
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.