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September 05, 1969 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1969-09-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

10—Friday, September 5, 1969

Open Society' Gets Death Blow Jewish Law Topic
With Firing of Abba Schwartz •
Ex-State Dept. Official's Story

A most revealing work, indicat-
ing how an offshoot from Mc-
Carthyism had its influence on
American policy, described the
struggle for abandonment of the
unfair immigration regulations and
the hope that was entertained by
President John F. Kennedy for an
erasing of the prejudicial aspects;
related to travel and the refugees.
Yet very little has been said in
the year since its appearance about
The Open Society" by Abba P.
In the volume published by Wm.
Morhtw and Co., the former As-
sistant Secretary of State in charge
of Immigration, refugee and travel
policies describes how the late
President Kennedy had hoped for
an abandonment of the immigra-
tion policies that were highly dis-
criminatory and had hoped for the
"Open Society" that would restore
an open society" has great value
the American image among Euro-
for the historian and for students
peans in a favorable light, at the
of public affairs.
same time re-creating a program
"I had the privilege of working
of fairness for travelers abroad
with John Kennedy, Robert Ken-
and for those seeking admission to
nedy and Abba Schwartz on
this country.
many of the matters here de-
But, as will be recalled, there
scribed," Schlesinger says of
was an inheritance from the days
Schwartz's book. "I can therefore
of McCarthy. from the McCarran-
attest to the accuracy of this
Walter Act. that prevailed, and
book, to the gallantry and good
Schwartz was forced to resign.
humor with which Abba Schwartz


In his detailed account of what
had occurred and of his experi-
ence in Washington, in his de-
scription of the lengthy conver-
sation he had had with Secretary
of State Dean Rusk, Schwartz
provideS data that does not
speak well for the attitudes of
President Johnson under whose
administration the shocking oc-
currences took place, or of Sec-
retary Rusk. In fact, in his de-
scription of the conversation with
Rusk and of the aftermath,
Schwartz records: "Rusk also
found it appropriable to volunteer
that my being Jewish had no
bearing on my dismissal. Since
this thought had never occurred
to me or to anyone else, as far
as I know. I assume the Secre-
tary's gratuitous remark was an
attempt to dispel views of which
only he was aware."

A number of cases are described
to indicate the prejudices that pre-
vailed. "The Open Society - , is an
expose of the tragedy revolving
around the anti-alien trends and of
the prejudicial policies towards
those seeking visas for travel
abroad. Shocking examples of the
manner in which passports were
issued or denied are part of this
revealing tract.
In his introduction to this col-
umn. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. ex-
plains how President Kennedy was
determined to end a panicky state
of affairs stemming from the Im-
migration and Nationality Act of
1952, how he had hoped to attain
his goal with the aid of Schwartz
and Robert F. Kennedy, who was
then U. S. Attorney General. He
emphasizes that Schwartz's ac-
count of efforts to realize the Ken-
nedy "conception of America as

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endured the vicissitudes of pub-
lic service and to the significance
of the achievements of this pe-
riod. I have no doubt that the
ideal of America as an open
society, so eloquently affirmed
by John Kennedy and so imagi-
natively developed by A b b a

Schwartz, will increasingly shape
our policy in the future."
One wonders, after reading the

shocking account of what had hap-
pened under Rusk and Johnson
whether there is much hope, too
soon, for the open society.
Schwartz's book has additional
great merit for the data it provides
in indicating how Miss Frances
Knight and others in his depart-
ment had undermined his position
and his efforts to assure an open
There is great value in this work
in the documents added as appen-
dices: the exchange of correspon-
dence with President Johnson; a
description of the prejudicial ele-
ments in the immigration act:
President Kennedy's proposals for
altering the discriminatory legisla-
tion: the Kennedy messages to
members of Congress; historic ma-
terial such as the statement in 1933
to the Secretary General of the
League of Nations by James G.
McDonald. High Commissioner for
Refugees (Jewish and others)
coming from Germany, and tabu-
lar accounts of refugees who were
admitted to this country, by coun-
try of origin. from 1946.—P.S.


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The Israeli spokesman said
that the Druze was wanted by
police for various crimes. He
said the man enlisted in the Is-
rael army but was discharged
soon afterwards as a result of a
psychiatric examination which
found him unfit.

He apparently crossed the bor-
der on his own because there was
no clash such as the one described
by the guerrillas and no Israeli
soldier was captured by them, the
spokesman said. The Druze are
nun-Moslem. and are loyal to Is-
rael. They serve in the Israeli
army and police force.

Golda's Visit Arranged

tions for the visit of Israeli Pre-
mier Golda Meir moved ahead this
week with a meeting of Israeli
Embassy officials with Emil Mos-
bacher. Arrangements for the state
visit were discussed. Mrs. Meir
will he an official guest at the
Blair House. where the President's
guests are accommodated. Israeli
Minister Shlomo Argov and Coun-
sellor Moshe Raviv met with Mos-
bacher. Abba Eban will accompany
Mrs. Meir. He is expected to ad-
dress the United Nations General


of Dropsie Series

PHILADELPHIA—A pilot pro- Bazak, Israeli jurist who IS 'con-
gram providing a series of lec- nected with Bar-Ban University
tures on Jewish law to be deliv- in Israel, have been invited to
ered by outstanding authorities deliver these lectures next May.
The lectures will deal with pro-
from Israel will be sponsored by
Mr. and Mrs. David Cohen during grams affecting the structure Of
the academic year at Dropsie Col- the legal system in IsraeL They
lege, it was announced by Dr. also will deal with important deci-
Abraham I. Katsh, president of the sions of the Israel Supreme Court
and Religious High Court, Israel's
postgraduate institution.
Mr. and Mrs. Cohen are prom- unwritten constitution and other
inent members of the Philadelphia matters of Jewish law.
Jewish community.
No question is so difficult to an-
Dr. Katsh also announced that
Dr. Nahum Rakower of the He- swer as that to which the answer
brew University and Dr. Joseph is obvious.—George Bernard Shaw.

`Israeli Soldier'
Seized by Arabs
Is Druze Ex-Con

TEL AVIV (JTA1—An alleged
Israeli soldier" whom Arab guer-
rillas claimed to have captured
in a recent clash with Israeli
forces is in fact a Druze with a
police record who was dis-
charged from the army last year
because he was mentally unbal-
anced, a military spokesman said
The case history of Yousouf
Hassan Habakka. of \'anoa vil-
lage in Galilee was made public
in response to guerrilla claims that
they had captured their first Is-
raeli soldier in battle. The guer-
rillas displayed Hebakka to the
press in Jordan.


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