Sen. Herbert H. Lehman today took the floor of the Senate to speak as a member of the Jewish faith to denounce charges of “anti-Semitism” lodged last night by Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy against Sen. A.S. Monroney, an Oklahoma Democrat. McCarthy lashed out on a “Meet the Press” telecast against Monroney, charging that the Senator’s opposition to the methods of McCarthy’s investigators Roy M. Cohn and David Schine represented “the most flagrant, the most shameful example of anti-Semitism I have ever heard.”
Defending Sen. Monroney, Mr. Lehman told the Senate he was moved “to assert that this is a wholly false and ridiculous charge.” He said: “many individuals of the Jewish faith, as well as of Christian denominations–without distinction–have repeatedly criticized and repudiated the antics of these two brash young men. For several months in speeches and public statements, I – a Jew, sensitive to any religious bias – have been strongly critical of the behaviour of these young men and have pointed out that they have been doing our country and the cause of anti-Communism great harm both here and abroad. I am very certain that most members of my religious faith, not as Jews, but as Americans, are anything but proud of these two young men.”
Sen. Lehman pointed out that “to brand criticism of them (Cohn and Schine) as ‘anti-Semitism’ is pure and errant demagoguery, raising an ugly symbol in defense of indefensible conduct.” He added that it was unnecessary for him to absolve Sen. Monroney of “this cheap charge,” yet, he said, he could not forbear from affirmatively attesting that Monroney “is one of the fine characters of the Senate, free of bias, hate, and prejudice –a gentleman of understanding and of courage.”
Sen. Monroney said “Sen. McCarthy’s statement is just as ridiculous as the absurd activities of his two investigators who left a trail of discredit to American traditions across Europe” a reference to their recent, much-criticized investigating tour of Europe.
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.