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Demonizing the Right

April 28, 1993

When Patrick J. Buchanan writes a self-exonerating piece for The Times ("Demonizing the Right Is Sick," Column Right, April 20) he counts on readers to have short memories, indeed. The fact that he justifies his argument by using the Altruistic Personality study, shows how intellectually dishonest he is willing to be in order to make his twisted point.

The Altruistic Personality, a study commissioned by the American Jewish Committee, examines why non-Jews in Europe risked their lives to save Jews during World War II. That someone with Buchanan's history of flirting with Holocaust denial would cite a study of selfless acts in defense of his own hate-filled agenda is shocking.

Poor, much-maligned Buchanan is the man who called the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "one of the most divisive men in contemporary history," but described Adolf Hitler as "an individual of great courage . . . extraordinary gifts." AIDS, according to Buchanan, is, the way nature works "an awful retribution" on homosexuals.

For Buchanan to even mention the Altruistic Personality in a defense of his positions is both ironic and offensive. If he and his brand of extremist conservatives were ever to rise to power in this society, we would need millions of "altruistic personalities" to rescue the rest of us from their clutches.

RABBI GARY GREENEBAUM

Western Regional Director

The American Jewish Committee

Los Angeles

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