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American Jewish Committee Opposes Special Jewish Agency Status

October 15, 1951
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Opposition to the granting by Israel of a special status to non-Israeli groups and to the idea that "Israel is the only place where Jews can live in security and dignity," was expressed today in a resolution adopted by the executive committee of the American Jewish Committee at its semi-annual meeting at the Stevens Hotel here. More than 100 leaders of American Jewish communities from all parts of the United States participated in the meeting.

The resolution expressed confidence in the security of American Jewry’s future in the United States and emphasized that "the carrying out of educational programs among American Jews is exclusively the responsibility of American institutions. "Another resolution urged the expansion and strengthening of community relations work in the United States to relieve domestic tension. The resolution opposing interference by non-American bodies in American Jewish life–apparently aimed at the Jewish Agency–was adopted unanimously. It reads;

"The Committee reaffirms its creed that America is our home and that we are integrated into its political, social and cultural life, We oppose any attempt on the part of some few American Jews to interfere in the political life of Israel. We similarly oppose any attempt on the part of any organization not exclusive American in its composition to interfere with the internal affairs of American Jews.

"We urge upon the State of Israel the impropriety of (a) granting any kind of diplomatic recognition to any non-governmental body; (b) granting any kind of political status within Israel to any non-Israeli organization or non-governmental body, and (c) purporting to grant to any organization any special status with respect to the activities of Jews and Jewish communities in America or anywhere else outside of Israel.

"We oppose as completely false and unrealistic any view that American Jews can be convinced that Israel is the only place where Jews can live in security and dignity. We reject the notion, from whatever source it emanates, that American Jews are in any sense ‘exiled,’.

"We applaud the action of those American Jews at the recent World Zionist Congress who also rejected this notion. Confidence in the security of American Jewry’s future here and in the possibility of continuing to build a rich and meaningful life that embodies the best in the American and Jewish traditions has never been greater or more justified than it is at present.


"We affirm that the carrying out of educational programs among American Jews is exclusively the responsibility of American institutions. We oppose any activity under non-American sponsorship for objectives inconsistent with the views herein and heretofore expressed by us. While we favor liberal aid for Israel in accordance with policies heretofore adopted by this committee, we oppose the use of these funds, collected for such aid, being diverted for programs and activities in America not consistent with these views.

"The officers of the American Jewish Committee are directed to seek the implementation of the views herein expressed and to base upon these views their future action with respect to Israel."

At the opening session last night, Jacob Blaustein, committee president, asserted that American Jews "reject the concept that they are in exile," American Jews, he said, view as axiomatic the fact that America is their home and they are fully. integrated into the social, political and cultural life of the nation," He also expressed satisfaction that American Zionists at the recent World Zionist Congress rejected the concept of American Jews being in exile.

The A.J.C. president said that the Committee must oppose activities or programs of an educational nature, under non-American sponsorship, that object to the "basicenets of full integration of American Jews into American life as traditionally espoused by the American Jewish Committee." For Israel, Mr. Blaustein suggested in educational program among immigrants from non-democratic lands.

On the even of the meeting, Mr. Blaustein revealed an eight-point A.J.C. program for Germany to adopt to implement the West German Government’s declaration that it was ready to make restitution to the Jews for the crimes committed against them by the Nazis. He said that the A.J.C feels that Germany must give evidence of its sincerity by adopting a series of minimal measures, and offered the following:

1. Elimination of neo-Nazi organizations through constitutional and legal means; 2. Government sponsorship of an educational program among the German people to create, maintain and strengthen what Chancellor Adenauer called "the spirit of humane and religious tolerance" among them; 3. Strengthening of legislation to outlaw religious and racial persecution and punishment of purveyors of anti-Semitic propaganda; 4. Aid to Jews remaining in Germany to help them maintain their religious, social and cultural institutions.

Also, 5. Establishment within the German Government’s administration of an agency to supervise and protect observance of civil rights in Germany; 6. Speedy lump sum settlements of restitution claims for heirless and unclaimed property; 7. Immediate negotiation with Israel and the representatives of Jewish organizations in the U.S. Britain, France and other democracies to settle all just claims for indemnification of Jews who survived the Nazi terror; 8. The barring from public office, particularly among educators, the army and the diplomatic service, of former members of the Nazi movement.

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