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French Jews Form New Body to Handle All Jewish Affairs; Outline Post-war Demands

French Jewish leaders today announced the formation of a new organization representing all the elements of the community, and empowered to act as the sole representative of French Jews in dealings with public authorities and Jewish bodies in other countries.

The group, which will be known as the Representative Council of the Jews of France, will seek recognition by the government and will ask to be consulted on all matters affecting Jews in France. It is composed of six representatives of the Jewish Consistory five of the general defense committee, which was the supreme underground organization during the occupation, and one each from the French Zionist Organization and the Committee of Action of French Jewish Youth. Its announced program formulates the following demands:

1- Creation of constitutional guarantees against any attempt on the principles of equality of race and religion.

2- Recognition of the equality of Jews in respect to all other citizens.

3- Restitution of civil, political and economic rights of Jews by abrogation of all discriminatory laws.

4- Equality of treatment of foreign Jews with non-Jewish emigrants from their countries.

5- Institution of a liberal emigration program by the state with the support of qualified agencies, without discrimination or detriment in regard to Jews.

6- Participation by Jews on a basis of equality with all other citizens in the reconstruction of the country, as well as their reintegration in different strata of post-war social and economic activity.

The new body also asks for the repatriation by the authorities, as civilian internees of war, of all Jews deported or expelled from their place of residence.

JUST REPARATION FOR JEWISH DAMAGES IS DEMANDED

Other demands include complete and just reparation to Jews for moral and material damage done them by: Restitution of confiscated property whoever may be the present holder; reintegration of functionaries and agents discharged or compelled to cease their functions, as well as Jewish employee-the period during which such functionaries, agents and employees were not permitted to function shall count as a ? of active services with full promotion rights or salary increases to which they would have been entitled had they been working; and re-establishment of institutions and Jewish social, cultural and economic bodies suspended or forbidden under the anti-Jewish Laws.

The council’s program in regard to Palestine supports the demands of the Jewish Agency for immediate abolition of the White Paper and free immigration and colonization, and for a national status for the Jews there. It stresses the council’s support of efforts to achieve Arab-Jewish understanding and add; “It is understood that the national status of the Jews in Palestine will in no manner affect that of Jaws in other countries or the bonds uniting them to their countries.”

It will participate, the program says, when circumstances permit, in a “Jewish international representation which by its structure and composition will be qualified to represent the Jews of the respective countries.” It will support efforts by such an organization to secure recognition at the peace conference and in all post-war reconstruction bodies.

The new council will also “seek support of all other qualified organizations to assure the security and the rights of Jews in any countries where they may be menaced”

Officers of the council are president, Leon Meis, who has been serving as acting president of the Consistory; vice-president, Rabin Greenberg, president of the Lyan branch of the Federation of Jewish Societies of France and secretary, Josef Fischer, general secretary of the Zionist organization.

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