Edited Under Fr. Leonard Feeney M.I.C.M.
To be literately informed about America’s Jewish problem, it is not necessary to know Hebrew or Yiddish. All that is required, initially, is a familiarity with the English alphabet. The following primer of English letters with Jewish meanings will serve for illustration.
The initials A.J.C. mean the American Jewish Committee. By reason of wealth, prestige, and a degree of antiquity, the American Jewish Committee, and not the American Jewish Congress, has the prior and proper claim to these three identifying letters. The American Jewish Committee has always included in its membership the top Jews of the country. The American Jewish Congress is a late arrival that attracts the coarser element and takes the bolder public stands. The consuming preoccupation of American Jewish Congress members is endless courtroom activity aimed at ridding the public schools of Christmas observances, keeping business places open on Sunday, forcing prominent resort owners to take in Jews, repealing laws which keep Christian babies away from Jewish foster parents — in general, supplying all the close-range, bare-fisted pummeling that a Christian society must get before the infidel can take over that society with confidence.
The American Jewish Committee stands a little apart from these American Jewish Congress activities, but not disinterestedly so. The American Jewish Committee works for the same ends on a higher level. Typical of the Committee’s projects is the one outlined on page 57 of the 1954 A.J.C. Budget Report. “New efforts will be made during the coming year to seek the publication of revised editions of Catholic textbooks through the good offices of the Catholic Biblical Association.”
Although the American Jewish Committee’s first complaint upon examining parochial school texts is always aimed at the Church’s teaching that the Jews killed Christ, A.J.C. had no intention of stopping there. Its magazine, Commentary, in May of 1956, indicated an even more basic “revision” which the American Jewish Committee is building up to. Clearly, from the following statement, the determined members of the American Jewish Committee will not rest until the Blessed Trinity, no less, has been blotted out of our school books. Says the A.J.C.: “The synagogue will not conceal its conviction that, necessary as the spread of Christianity may have been, it presents in its traditional formulations but an intermediate step between paganism and the ultimate acceptance of Jewish monotheism.”
The letters Z.O.A. stand for the Zionist Organization of America — that powerhouse for energizing the patriotic potential of American Jews. There is, however, one peculiarity about this endeavor, one respect in which it differs from nationalism of the George Washington variety: though flourishing in America, it is inspired by loyalty not to this nation, but to another. Clamorous and irrepressible, the Zionist Organization of America has stormed through the country demanding that American Jews go all out for the new Jewish State in Palestine.
Sir Leon Simon, late chairman of the Board of Governors of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, trying to answer the question, “What is a Jew?” indicates the premise on which the Zionist Organization of America bases its operations. “To be a Jew,” he says, “is not to be a member of a Church; it is primarily to stand in a certain psychological and emotional relationship to the Jewish collectivity — call it people, brotherhood, clan, or what you will.” And, from America, Jewish Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis gives the more pointed information: “Jews are a distinctive nationality, of which every Jew, whatever his country, his station, or his shade of belief, is necessarily a member.”
Because they are a nation apart, reserving their loyalty to themselves, American Jews have fallen in heartily with the Zionist Organization of America a plan to make them defenders and promoters of a political Jewish State. Nevertheless, Z.O.A. feels that still more ought to be done. “We must expand our educational activities,” cries Louis Falk, Vice-President of the Organization. “We must strengthen the youth movement and spread Hebrew education throughout the land; support institutions in which the teaching is carried out in our spirit; improve the existing Zionist Summer Camps and build new ones under ZOA’s auspices; organize a net of evening courses throughout the country, headed by professional (Zionistically-speaking) pedagogues ... ”
And while the business of turning the United States into a vast Zionist training center is proceeding, the Zionist Organization of America Bulletin offers its readers this interim reminder: “Only an alert and militant Zionist Organization can swing American public opinion to come to Israel’s aid and exert pressure on our Administration of the kind which proved successful in 1947 and 1948, and without which the State would not have come into being ... ”
U.J.A. means United Jewish Appeal (since folded into the United Jewish Communities). There is no gesture by which American Jews so feelingly pledge their allegiance to the Jewish State as when each year they reach into their pockets and hand over a portion of their finances to the United Jewish Appeal. With the help of full-page advertisements in the principal American newspapers and garish banners fluttering over the streets of our largest cities, U.J.A. has managed to persuade Jews and some others to reach in and pull out, since 1949, the staggering sum of one billion dollars. The United Jewish Appeal keeps it no secret that 90 per cent of its donations are used for supporting and aggrandizing the Jewish State. These American funds currently provide more than one-third of the State’s annual income (with other free hand-outs, like the $715,000,000 in “reparations” from West Germany supplying most of the rest). Since all contributions to the United Jewish Appeal are deductible from federal income tax, this means that the billion dollars sent to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem has been diverted from the United States Treasury. (Besides accepting this loss cheerily, Washington has also been talked into giving the Jewish State outright several hundred million dollars.)
It is not likely that the near future will see any relaxation of the United Jewish Appeal’s money-grabbing efforts. The Jewish State still needs, and badly, the financial support of its American citizens-in-exile; it has some projects in mind that will be costly. Any American Jew who does not know what these projects are, is out of touch with his brothers across the sea; for as the influential New York rabbi, Dr. Louis Israel Newman says: “There is scarcely an intelligent Israeli today who believes that the present boundary lines are permanent, or that the hill country of Cis-Jordania is to be forever separated from Israeli territory.”
When it first saw the light of day, nearly a half century ago in Chicago, the Anti-Defamation League publicly promised itself a long and fruitful career. And this cockiness in the cradle has been more than justified through the years that followed. Fawning American Jews have no rosier tale to pass down to posterity than the story of the rise and rule of the A.D.L.
Actually, there was no marvel about it. The Anti-Defamation League had to succeed. Its parent was the wealthy and world-wide Order of B’nai B’rith, the exclusively Jewish branch of Freemasonry. All of B’nai B’rith’s extensive operational set-up was at the Anti-Defamation League’s disposal. Every local lodge established a special A.D.L. committee. And every individual lodge-member became a spare-time A.D.L. agent. It was not that he was forced to. He was delighted to. For the Anti-Defamation League was the answer to every American Jew’s dream. Here at last was an organization that would take the curse off the Jews. Here was an organization that would fight for the little Jew and free him from the stigma of being a “Hebe” and a “Yid”; that would get his son into the Gentile colleges, his wife into the Gentile summer resorts, and himself into the “exclusive” Gentile country clubs. The Anti-Defamation League meant dynamite to blast away the last remaining Christian barriers — and every Jew was chafing to light some local fuses.
Assured of this wholesale support, the Anti-Defamation League pursued its campaign with swift vengeance. Immediately, public men and public officials felt the pressure. Congressmen and newspaper editors were forced into line. Soon, the A.D.L. was pushing its way confidently into every traditional American sanctuary. The class-room, the living room, even the parish pulpit came under the scrutiny of Anti-Defamation League investigators. Any hint, anywhere, that Jews were being treated the way Jews have always been treated in Christian society brought down the mighty wrath of Jewish Masonry. Snooping, threats, libel, blackmail, boycott, and the masterful smear technique leveled the few recalcitrants.
As a pledge of their success in breaking down our country’s healthy and Christian aloofness to Jews, the Anti-Defamation League has expanded its program in late years to fight for other Jewish objectives. It has exerted its gestapo energies in promoting the United Nations, in panning Senator McCarthy, in pushing the Christ-less Brotherhood religion, in protesting the prosecution of Communists, in propagandizing for the State of Israel, in penetrating and polluting anti-Communist groups, and, most effectively, in plotting the present “civil rights” agitation in the South.
Working elbow-to-elbow with the N.A.A.C.P. (the Jew-headed, Jew-financed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), the Anti-Defamation League has had a part in every phase of the program to rob the South of States’ Rights and set black man against white man in areas where, for generations, they have lived in harmony.
The N.C.C.J., the National Conference of Christians and Jews (renamed the National Conference for Community and Justice) , is one Jewish agency that does invite Gentiles to join. But calling it the National Conference of Christians and Jews is putting the cart before the horse. For it is the latter-named members that make the wheels go round, and the former that get taken for a ride.
At its start, some thirty years ago, the National Conference of Christians and Jews directed all its energies to snuffing out one particularly flagrant Catholic belief. Dr. George Lamsa, one of the founders, says (in a recent B’nai B’rith Messenger), “the group was organized originally to clear up the Christian misconception that the Jews were responsible for the Crucifixion of Jesus ... ”
“Clearing up” this plain fact of New Testament teaching is still a National Conference of Christians and Jews goal — but not an exclusive or explicit one. The avowed purpose of the agency today is simply to discourage prejudice, to promote Brotherhood, “to build better relationships among men of all religions, races, and nationalities.” This sweetness-and-light approach has beguiled American Catholic support in a way the anti-New Testament campaign would never have done. Priests and parishioners alike have set out with a vengeance to “get along” with non-Catholics and to persuade non-Catholics to “get along” with them.
Under the spell of N.C.C.J. applause (any stuttering statement of the approved platitudes gets hailed as a masterpiece of cogent thought and brilliant expression), these cooperating Catholics have trampled recklessly over the dogmas of the Faith. They have agreed to call all men sons of God, whether baptized or not. They have conceded that true charity for non-Catholics is not to invite them into the Church, but to assure them that they have the affection of Catholics while they remain outside.
Father John A. O’ Brien, who is a co-chairman of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, has recently voiced concern at the “enormous leakage” of Catholics going out of the Church and at the mere trickle of new converts coming in. He advised that a program be initiated “with the utmost urgency” to remedy the situation.
We should like to suggest such a program. It is the one enacted in England in 1955, when the Holy See ordered all Catholics in that country to withdraw at once from the Council of Christians and Jews, N.C.C.J.’s British counterpart. (The response of English Catholics to the Holy Father’s wishes was immediate and heartening. Led by His Eminence, the late Cardinal Griffin, clergy and laity alike severed all ties with the British interfaith Council.)
We propose that American Catholics anticipate a Vatican mandate by quitting, voluntarily and at once, all National Conference of Christians and Jews affiliations and activities. We think Father O’ Brien will be pleased to discover that when life outside the Church is not being lavished with priestly praise, Catholics may be less inclined to leak out, and non-Catholics more inclined to pour in.
— U —
The single letter U, enclosed in a small circle, is the most frequently used, but least publicized, of the Jews’ alphabetical formulas. It appears on the labels of food-store items and means that the product is Kosher. A list of these U-stamped commodities is published by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, who advise that products so listed “receive the constant inspection of and are passed upon by the Rabbinical Council of America. Consumers are cautioned,” the advice continues, “to make sure that the U seal is on the label of every food product.”
The rabbis have a long way to go before “every” food package in the land will bear their Kosher code-mark. But they have made a strong beginning. The current list of nearly 500 items runs from apple sauce to wine, and includes forty kinds of Kosher baby food. It includes all of the following detergents and cleansers: Super Suds, Ad, Glim, Fab, Dash, All, Cheer, Vel, Kirkmans, Dreft, Joy, Oxydol, Tide, Blue Duz, Trend, Brillo products, Comet, Spic & Span, Old Dutch Cleanser, Cameo Cleanser, Soilax, Bab-O, Ajax, New Octagon Cleanser. And the H. J. Heinz Company, makers of the famous “57 Varieties,” boasts that “There are more than forty Heinz foods that bear on their labels the U seal of endorsement.”