Overseas Discrimination (1960)

Overseas Discrimination against Americans: Threats to the Integrity of American Citizenship (1960)

“Let integrity and uprightness preserve me.” – Psalm 25:21

National Women’s League again express dismay and concern over the continued acquiescence by our national government in the imposition by Arab States of discrimination against American citizens because of their religion.

In 1956, Republican and Democratic National Conventions committed their parties to bring about a halt to this un-democratic attitude of our government. A unanimous resolution of the Senate of the United States also asserted that such actions by foreign states is inconsistent with our principles as a nation. Nevertheless, our government continues to.

  1. Screen American military and diplomatic personnel according to religion before assignment to Arab States;
  2. Acquiesce in the refusal of Arab countries to honor American passports carried by Jews;
  3. Submit to the refusal of Arab Stats to permit the wearing of clerical garb or of religious insignia by American chaplains on United States bases in the Middle East;
  4. Sanction exclusions of Jews from employment in the Middle East by American industrial and commercial firms.

The protection of the rights of the United States citizens to travel, to pursue lawful trade, and to engage in other activities abroad without distinction because of race or religion, is one of the essential attributes of American citizenship. It is intolerable that foreign states should divide citizens of the United States into classes and subject them to differential treatment.

In 1960, the Middle East platform of both major parties vigorously and forthrightly pledged to protect the integrity of American citizenship, therefore, National Women’s League calls upon the President of the United States and the 87th Congress to take effective action to end our acquiescence in Arab discrimination against American citizens because of their religion, by:

  1. Challenging the continued flagrant violation of the rights of American Citizens;
  2. Ending the screening of qualified American citizens for government service abroad on racial or religious grounds;
  3. Rejecting provisions in all treaties and executive agreements which either implicitly or explicitly deny to America citizens rights of travel, employment, trade, or any other right, because of their religion or race.
  4. We call upon the United States Commission on Civil Rights, the President’s Committee On Government Contracts, the President’s Committee On Employment Policy, and State Anti-Discrimination Commissions to refuse to yield to the religious or racial prejudice of foreign countries in the hiring or placement of American personnel. We applaud and are encouraged by the actions of the courts of the State of New York in declaring that the rights of citizens of that State, to be protected against discrimination in employment, in accordance with the State’s law against discrimination may not be denied them because of any alleged supervention by national interests.