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Palestine Press Ridicules Charge of Persecution of Soviet Citizens by Jewish Group

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The influential Laborite daily Davar, commenting today on the Moscow charge that Soviet citizens were being persecuted by Jewish groups in Palestine, says that “somebody is evidently interested in degrading the prestige of the Moscow radio in Palestine, and is, therefore, spreading lies and insinuations.”

Davar reviews the Soviet accusation that one Michal Shulkin had been ousted from his apartment because he was a Soviet citizen and sympathizer, and says that these “strange efforts to ascribe political significance to a tenant’s quarrel seem ridiculous.”

The entire Hebrew press has not attacked Russia in any way or form in recent years. In fact, it has often stated that the Soviet Union has been one of the most important factors in combatting fascism and defeating Germany. The Palestine Jewish community’s attitude toward Russia is best illustrated by the activities of the Victory League for Russia and the recent planting of a “Red Army Forest” in Palestine.

In an attempt to ascertain the basis for the Moscow accusationsa JTA correspondent today interviewed both Shulkin, who is a Polish refugee, and his landlord, whose name is Cohen. Shulkin asserted that Cohen had refused to allow him to use a balcony attached to the house and had called him a Soviet spy. When a Soviet repatriation mission came here recently Shulkin complained to them. Cohen, on the other hand, denies he ever abused Shulkin and said that his chief objection to him was that he was illegally occupying an apartment which had been rented by Cohen for single occupancy by a kindergarten teacher who is now Shulkin’s wife.

The correspondent was unable to turn up any other instances of “persecution” of Soviet citizens. The entire matter seems to be a tempest in a teapot, resulting from someone misleading the Cairo correspondent of Tass, from whom the story emanated.

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