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FBI Interviews of Arab-Americans

January 23, 1991

As the regional director of a Jewish organization dedicated to civil rights and the preservation of civil liberties, I am compelled to protest the FBI's interviews of Arab-American business and community leaders seeking information about terrorist plans (Jan. 12). To have FBI agents coming to the doors of Arab-Americans is the beginning of harassment and intimidation. This kind of harassment may lead to an environment where Arab-Americans are afraid to exercise their constitutional rights as Americans to speak out on issues of concern to all Americans.

Every American is threatened by the singling out of Arab-Americans. If one group can be separated at a time of crisis, all groups are potential victims. All of us must remember the racism that led to the Japanese-American internment camps and be vigilant against its re-emergence in the Persian Gulf crisis.

RABBI LAURA GELLER

Executive Director

American Jewish Congress

Pacific Southwest Region

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