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July 11, 1975 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1975-07-11

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

6 Friday, July 11, 1975

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

`60 Minutes' Complaint Deferred Until New Show is Aired in August

NEW YORK — The
American Jewish Congress
said Monday that it has
asked the National News
Council to "defer" action on
its complaint against CBS
News until a new program
on Syrian Jews now being
prepared by "60 Minutes" is
shown next month.
Phil Baum, associate ex-
ecutive director of AJC,
said, "Representatives met
with CBS News and have

been informed that '60 Min-
utes' is preparing for broad-
cast next month, a program
that will present additional
information on the plight of
Syrian Jews.
"We are therefore re-
questing to defer action on
our complaint, without pre-
judice, until we have seen
the new broadcast."
A hearing on the Con-
gress' complaint had been
scheduled for Wednesday

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by the National News
Council. CBS News had
informed the Council,
however, that it would not
participate in the hearing.
In a letter to the Council,
CBS News President Rich-
ard Salant wrote:
"We appreciate the Coun-
cil's interest in attempting
to resolve the dispute at
hand, but we are not per-
suaded that a 'public hear-
ing'—whose outlines and
procedures are not at all
clear to us—is the appro-
priate means to do so .. ."
Last month the AJC filed
a complaint with the Na-
tional News Council charg-
ing CBS News and its "60
Minutes" program with
"excessive, inaccurate and
distorted representations"
of the condition of Syrian
Jewry and with refusing
over several months to cor-
rect the picture.
Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg,
president of the Congress,
also accused CBS of an
"inaccurate and undocu-
mented assertion" that the
Golan Heights town of Ku-
neitra was destroyed "not
by shell fire and war but by
bulldozer and dynamite" as
the Israelis vacated it fol-
lowing the 1974 disengage-
ment agreement.

The Jewish organization
asked the National News
Council to investigate its
complaint against CBS
News and to endorse its
suggestion that, as an an-
tidote to the inaccuracies
in the program, Wallace
interview a former Syrian
Jew now living in the U.S.
"who could speak openly"
and "provide an alterna-
tive insight" into the prob-
lem of Syrian Jews.
The program was aired
February 16 and the Con-
gress wrote immediately
thereafter to "60 Minutes"
producer Don Hewitt asking
for a meeting with him and
Wallace to air its grievances
with the program.
Following the filing of the
complaint, CBS re-broad-
cast on June 8 the original
segment on Syria, with a
new introductory and clos-

The German tragedy be-
gan in 1933, not in 1945. In
1933 all that was great and
good and noble in the his-
tory of our people was be-
trayed, and all that had
brotjght our people the
honor and the name of a
great cultural nation in
Europe — all that for which
we were respected the world
over.
In 1933 Germany had lost
its honor. If we wanted to
regain it, we had to take
upon us the burden of that
sinister period.
—German President
Walter Scheel

ing commentary by Wal-
lace.
In that commentary,
Wallace reported charges
that the program had "mis-
represented" the status of
Syrian Jews and said he
would inform viewers about
the decision of the National
News Council on the Ameri-
can Jewish Congress com-
plaint.
In response to the re-
broadcast, the AJC said in
part:
"CBS has failed to re-
spond to the major thrusts
of our criticism; an oppor-
tunity to set the record
straight and to deepen
understanding of complex
issues has been lamenta-
bly forfeited.
"The victim is the pub-
lic—and the cause of hon-
est reporting and responsi-
ble journalism."
Meanwhile, in Washing-
ton, a delegation represent-
ing one million Jewish
women urged a top State

Department official to in-
tensify U.S. diplomatic ef-
forts in behalf of the "be-
leaguered and beset" Jews
of Syria.
Mrs. Jacqueline Levine of
West Orange, N.J., leader of
the group, told Deputy As-
sistant Secretary of State,
Harold Saunders:
"Despite highly publi-
cized reports of an alleged
`improvement' in the condi-

r

tion of Syria's 4,500 Jews,
these basic facts remain:
The ban on all Jewish
emigration remains com-
plete._ They are discrimi-
nated against in educational
and economic opportunity,
their freedom of movement
even within Syria is vir-
tually prohibited and they
are subject to arbitrary ar-
rest and imprisonment b\-
the Syrian secret police.

"

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