Maj. Gen. G.L. Nold, Deputy Chief of Army Engineers, told the Senate Preparedness Subcommittee that the Army considers it undesirable to hire American Jews to work on bases in North Africa because Jewish construction workers might offend the Arabs.
For this reason, some 20,000 unemployed construction men in New York were by-passed for such jobs in Morocco and elsewhere. The New York State Employment Service said it would not screen out Jews, while officials in Minnesota cooperated with the Army’s request, Gen. Nold said.
Chairman Lyndon B. Johnson of the subcommittee charged that the Army permitted construction costs to increase by letting a New York contractor advertise in places as far away as Alaska for workers for a job in Turkey although plenty of eligible workers were available in New York. The New Yorkers, however, were considered by the Army to be undesirable because many were Jewish. A result of the situation has been extra cost to the government in recruiting workers in inland cities and paying their transportation to New York and other East Coast ports.
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.