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May 16, 1969 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1969-05-16

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Purely Commentary ZZIP.

The Tragic Fortas Case

Rumor mills are grinding out tons of copy that
has created sensation alter sensation in the past 10
days about the Supreme Court. its judges, the rela-
tionships between the executive, the legislative and
the judiciary branches of our government, and a
score of other matters that have so easily emerged
as political fodder.
Abe Fortas has blundered. There is no doubt
about it. The check he received from the Wolfson
Foundation need not have been retained for 11
months. The money should have been returned
But what has happened is that the target of poli-
ticians, the man some schemers would kick out of
court, has suddenly been besmirched in a manner
similar to the time when he was named to the chief
justiceship and the campaign of character assassina-
tion developed.
It was because men who had been his clients had
contributed $15,000 as payment for university lec-
tures he had delivered that he went under fire last
year. It was not because he had been paid, legiti-
mately, for lectures.
There are so many Senators and Congressmen
and other members of the high court who get paid
for lectures! But Abe Fortas was the goat, and a
Michigan Senator first posed and now is being
acclaimed as a hero!
•• • •
Much of what appears as very serious developed
out of sheer nonsense. Newspaper stories and edi-
torial opinions have been framed out of proportion
to the case. There is good cause to believe that there
is an organized campaign to undermine the liberal
court and to make it possible for an ultra-conserva-
tive administration to assure for itself a court it
can control.
Is it any wonder that demands for impeachment
now include also Mr. Justice William Douglas?
And have Americans forgotten that the man who
has been asked to probe the entire Fortas matter—
Chief Justice Earl Warren—has himself been under
attack for more than 20 years—that he has been
branded a Communist and there are reiterated de-
mands that he, too, should be impeached?
The reactionary elements still make these de-
mands. But there has been more rational approach
to such appeals to bigotry. '
The situation involving the Supreme Court has
become so touchy that for any one to defend a mem-
ber of the high court would invite for him every
conceivable opprobrium.
Yet, it is difficult not to see through some of the
political machinations.
A young Senator,makes a fuss over a crackpot's
call threatening his life. Immediately he is the great
hero who is on the defensive, he acquires body-
guards, he gets on radio and TV and the newspapers
play him up—big! very big!
How many public officials receive threats, how
many editors and others in public life receive abu-
sive letters and phony telephone calls! If all of us
in that category were to ask for bodyguards, there

Cold Israel Winter Provided Test

`Meals on Wheels' Gets Food to Aged

by the Jerusalem municipality and
"Lifeline for the Old," and sup-
ported by the United Jewish Ap-
peal funds through the Malben
service for aged and infirm, is

wouldn't be enough men in the National Guard to
protect us!
• •

If it is true that "avarice" is the characteristic
of the high court justice who has emerged in a bad
light, then his role is. of course, all the more deplor-
There is need for a code of ethics, for a set of
laws to regulate public officials' actions, and the
new "scandal" is bringing • it about.

After the above was written, there were two
items on the editorial page of the New York Times,
on Wednesday. that merit special consideration.
Unlike the haste with which others have acted,
and without the anger that was in evidence in many
ranks, an analytical article by James Reston dis-
cussed various attitudes, referring to the experiences
of Justices Louis D. Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter,
and he stated:
"Nobody has accused Mr. Justice Fortas of
breaking the law. He is accused of being indiffer-
ent to the moral law and being greedy about

money, and accepting the advantages of high
office without meeting the standards of public

This is in itself an accusation, and the ethical
standards involved surely could be utilized for a
confrontation with the justice.
But the editorial comment in the NYTimes was
entitled "Slander by Indirection" and it declared
in part:
"It is highly improper for an Attorney Gen-
eral to traffic in rumors and innuendo. If the
Justice Department has any substantial evidence


headed by a former Quincy, Mass.,
social worker, Robert Kurstmann,
"I believe we provided vital
service in such Jerusalem suburbs
as Katamon and Kiriat Menachem
where deep snow, bitter cold and
torrential rain made many older
people virtual prisoners in their
own homes," he said. "Many of
these people were too proud to ask
how they could benefit from the
food service, so it became a ques-
tion of going to them."

With one of Jerusalem's worst
Kurstmann, who received his BA
winters in many years making it
extremely difficult for older citi- and MA in social work from Yes-
zens to move about, "Meals on hiva University, settled in Jeru-
Wheels," a Malben-subsidixed pro- salem in fall 1963.
gram, has literally been a lifesaver
His wife Hannah, an Israeli,
for many of them.
teaches at a school set up by


The program, created last year UJA Emergency Education Fund,

Rustin Gets AJCommittee Honor

of misconduct by Justice Fortas, it has an obli-
gation to disclose that information. Then the pub-
lic can weigh its merits and Mr. Fortas can
offer his own explanation or rebuttal. As it is,
Attorney General Mitchell has besmirched Justice
Fortas by implying charges that be is unwilling

to specify. •
"This has every aspect of an ugly squeeze
play by the administration to force Justice Fortas
off the bench. It makes it more essential than
ever for Mr. Fortas to do now what he should
have done in the first place. He must set forth
the full record of his dealings with Mr. Wolfson
and his reasons for believing that such associa-
tions were fully consonant with his responsiblities
as a member of the Supreme Court.
"Nothing less will lay the rumors to rest.
Silence is not an acceptable defense for one sit-
ting in the nation's highest court."
It is unfortunate that the case first was tried in

the press. It is good for the country that the incident
is leading to introduction of long-delayed practices to
prevent public officials from becoming tools of in-
dividuals or firms who may be financing them with
professional fees.
For the Jewish community it is a sad event—that

a man who concededly is a great lawyer and an

equally competent jurist should have blundered in
his personal relationships in money matters.

Hebrew U. S 1 y of Animal Migration
t, Suez Tied to American Plan

Edward D. Moldover (left), newly elected president of the Ameri-
can Jewish Committee, presents to Mrs. Audrey C. Cohen (center)
and Bayard Bustin the 1969 Stanley M. Isaacs Human Relations

Awards at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Mrs. Cohen, executive direc-
tor of the Women's Talent Corps, and Rustin, executive director of
the A. Philip Randolph Institute, were cited for their contributions
toward intergroup understanding. George E. Keck, president of Unit-
ed Air Lines, received a similar award from Andrew Goodman, na-

tional chairman of the AJCommittee's Appeal for Human Relations.

McCarthy Unmoved by Israel's Peril

man .1 J. W. Fulbright of the Senate ' they don't care whether peace Is
'Foreign Relations Committee and imposed by Big Powers or small
(Copyright. 1969, .1TA, Inc.)
JERUSALEM — American and that such migration will be pre-
Israeli scientists are cooperating vented.
WASHINGTON—When Sen. Eug- other prominent doves, was not p. ewers. They just want the sheet-
by Israel's peril.
in describing the biota (plant and
stopped lest Americans are
The Suez Canal is an artificial ene McCarthy refused to sign a ' moved
There were exceptions. Rep. Al- mg
animal life) of the East Mediter- meansto connect two oceans Congressional declaration support-
ranean and the Red Sea which may
ing the Israeli stand against im- lard Lowenstein, New York Demo- eventually sucked
The big issues are inflation,
contribute directly to a plan to which are inhabited by totally
position of a So- crat, is prominently identified with
construct a new canal across Cen- different biota. The Mediter-
viet - sponsored the New Left and the peace move- crime, strife at universities and
tral America parallel to the Pana- ranean Sea belongs to the At-
Big Four "settle- ment. It was Lowenstein who help- between the races, and other dom-
ma Canal.
ment" on Israel, ed start the drive that culminated estic concerns. Israel elicits bore-
lantic Ocean, the Red Sea to the
a new develop- in the enormous Jewish support dom. The news media have sought
Scientists of the Hebrew Univer. Indian Ocean, and the Suez
ment was drama- obtained by Sen. McCarthy. Today a new angle on the Middle East
sity for the last 30 years have
Lowenstein remains concerned and found it in the El Fatah and
been studying the biota of the East Canal opens the way for an ex-
Amen c a n lib- about the Vietnam war but sees other Arab "Liberation" move-
Mediterranean, and since 1948 this change of the biotas of these two
erals have grown the Israeli situation in an entirely ments. It is becoming fashionable
study included also the Gulf of oceans.
ired of militar- different context. He signed the in the ranks of the New Left and
This is the first and only man-
ism and war. Sen. declaration that McCarthy reject- old anti-Semites to identify with
A few years ago, scientists of made connection between two so
cCarthy reflect- ed. Arab terrorists. They are regarded
the Smithsonian Institution be-
extremely different seas, and for
ed a g
came interested in this project
this reason scientists deem it of
Congressmen report that their as freedom
o o dgrowing
and joined in with their Israeli
utmost importance to study the
Time Magazine has published a
constituencies think differently
phenomena of faunal and floral
case in new study on the limits of U.S.
One major aspect of this study exchange through the artificial would comprom-ise at Israel's ex- about Israel than was the
is the fact that an interchange of waterway. Due to the continuous pense. Public saturation with Viet- June 1967. They get more mail commitment to other nations.
living organisms between the Med- immigration of Red Sea marine nam has spilled over into the Mid- now from advocates of the Arabs Time-Louis Harris poll depicted
iterranean and the Red Sea via life, the Mediterranean marine life die East crisis.
or peace at any price. People have Israel as a special case outside the
the Suez Canal was discovered. changes continuously, and for
The Minnesota Democrat ap - heard so much about violence principal orbit of American protee;
have forgotten the
The transfer of organisms from similar reasons changes occur in
strong pro-Israel stand he took along the Suez Canal and Jordan lion. Of those polled, only 39 pet
one sea to the other disturbs the , the Red Sea.
D.S. scientists are not only during last year's presidential River that such crisis points have cent to 44 per cent were in fawn/
natural balance of population with
possible negative influence on ani- watching the Israeli marine study campaign. His many Jewish sup- been merged with Danang and Sai- of going to the aid of the Israelis
be dismayed Re-
at gun in terms of saturation.
should Soviet-aided Arabs threaten
mal life. Such migration might for scientific reasons, but are also Porters
of conservative
affect the growth rate and/or size interested in practical aspects of
to overrun Israel. But only 9
the project. The U.S. is presently
publicans and reactionaries of
of .fish populatiOn.
his constituents, mainly non-Jew- per cent of those sampled belie
parties who lined up for Israel
For these reasons, scientists of considering plans for replacing the
ed that the United States should
on the latest declaration—while
ish, "are as tired of hearing
the Smithsonian Institution decided existing Panama Canal by a new
of the liberals
to learn as much as possible from Central American canal which,
M. Kennedy,
of about Israel as they are of Viet- go so far as to send in troops.
an inter- his signature.
Israeli colleagues' observations on likewise, will become
Pollster Harris observed that
nam. They wish that the Viet-
animal migration between the Red ocean connection, linking the Paci-
"Clearly, the American people are
Massachusetts signed. So did Sen. namese, both southern and north-
Sea and the Mediterranean. This
The existing Panama Canal is Edmund Muskie, the running mate ern, together with the Israelis not prepared to make to
observation led to the conclusion
that one has to consider the pos- different from the Suez Canal, and of Hubert H. Humphrey. Indeed, and Arabs, would just dry up and anything like the commitment
Bible negative effects of migration is not a migratory route for biota, ' over half the Senate and most of fly away. In the Middle East, we have made to South Vietnam."
from ocean to ocean and, while because in the middle there is a the House sided with Israel. But
I Sen. McCarthy, backed by Chair- 2 — Friday, May 16, 1969
planning the new waterway, assure large fresh water lake.

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