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Westreich on Jesse Jackson

February 11, 1988

As a black American, I applaud Westreich's article. Its logic should be evident to anyone interested in enhancing the relationship between blacks and Jews.

As this year's presidential campaign heats up, I have watched with amazement as numerous Jewish commentators resurrect the issue of Jackson's "anti-Semitism" for which he has fully apologized to the Jewish community. These same writers, it must be noted, ignore Israel's long-standing military support of South Africa, rising racism and conservatism in the Jewish community, and anti-black posture of certain Jewish politicians and the global degradation of blacks in movies produced, promoted, financed and directed by many Jewish film makers.

To their credit, several Jewish leaders in Los Angeles have called for and convened a number of dialogue sessions between blacks and Jews at community centers, churches and synagogues. Regrettably, however, once Jewish accusations of anti-Semitism have been aired at these meetings, there is the habit, on the part of many Jews, to dismiss, ignore or trivialize black complaints against them.

Westreich has clearly demonstrated that some Jewish opinion makers are fully aware of and sensitive to the feelings of African-Americans. Let us hope that his brilliant and unprecedented analysis of the black-Jewish schism will provide an opportunity for renewed dialogue between the two groups that gives serious and balanced consideration to the concerns of both.

CORNELIA L. LYLES

Los Angeles

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