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Chicago’s Mayor Says Relations Between Jews and Blacks Are Good but Need to Be Worked on

July 16, 1985
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Mayor Harold Washington of Chicago, the first Black mayor of that city, who is now visiting Israel, told reporters here yesterday that the “long-standing and deep-seated” relationship between Jews and Blacks in the U.S. was as good as it has ever been but needs working on.

He said he does not consider the anti-Semitism of Black Moslem leader Louis Farrakhan to be of any significance. Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic remarks aggravated tension between Jews and Blacks during the 1984 Presidential primaries because the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the first Black contender for the Democratic nomination, refused to repudiate Farrakhan’s support.

Washington, who is here as a guest of the Foreign Ministry, spoke to reporters after touring holy sites in Galilee. He said the recent TWA hijacking and holding of Americans hostage for the release by Israel of Lebanese Shiite prisoners made Americans more aware of the problems of terrorism but is unlikely to affect U.S.-Israel relations.

According to Washington, there is no quid pro quo for American aid to Israel. It is given, he said, out of mutual interests and for humanitarian reasons.

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