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Jewish Groups Won’t Oppose Choice of Nixon Aide for White House Post

September 13, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The same Jewish groups who urged last year that Frederick Malek resign as deputy director of the Republican National Committee are not opposing President Bush’s intention of naming him to a White House post.

Last summer, several Jewish groups urged Malek’s resignation, following revelations that he obeyed President Nixon’s 1971 order to compile data on the number of Jews in the upper echelons of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nixon reportedly ordered Malek to do so out of concern that he was being hurt politically by a “Jewish cabal” that was exaggerating the country’s economic woes.

The New York Time reported Sunday that Malek’s new job will be to plan the 1990 economic summit of Western nations.

Most Jewish groups, with the exception of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, urged Malek’s resignation last year.

Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director, described Malek at the time as “a man with no record of bigotry.” Pointing out that Malek refused Nixon’s order three times before finally obeying it, he said that Malek should not be ousted simply because a “stronger man” would have totally refused to heed the request.

But others, such as Stephen Silbiger, Washington representative of the American Jewish Congress, said at the time that the contention that Malek was just following orders “is not an acceptable excuse in the Jewish community.”

After Malek’s resignation, Jewish groups continued to be concerned about the former Nixon aide’s ongoing ties with Bush. But Malek has since met with several Jewish groups and “atoned” for his action, said Ira Silverman, executive vice president of the American Jewish Committee.

Malek, in fact, served as co-chairman of a Jewish National Fund dinner in Washington on May 16.

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