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London Conference Formulates Policy for Jewish Communities in British Commonwealth

The closing session of the conference of Jewish organizations from British Commonwealth countries adopted, with only one dissenting vote, a resolution declaring that the “representatives of Jewish communities in the British Commonwealth consider it highly desirable and necessary that efforts of Jewish organizations with consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council should be coordinated and that collaboration among them be promoted to the greatest possible extent.”

The resolution stated further that “to this end, a regular procedure of consultation be established, enabling these bodies to consult together on subjects of Jewish concern which are on the agenda, or which can be raised at relevant meetings of the United Nations.”

The conference also adopted the following recommendations on Israel: “The rapid development of Israel, being of vital concern to Jews throughout the world, it is the duty of communities in the Commonwealth to share the burden of providing the means required for the immigration to and the settlement of Jews in Israel and for the building of the Jewish state on solid material and moral foundations.”

As a practical method to this end, the conference recommended participation in fund-raising, private capital investment, encouragement of imports from Israel, encouragement of Israel tourism and aid to qualified technicians and skilled workers wishing to settle in the Jewish state. The delegates voiced the hope that “lasting peace will speedily be established between Israel and her neighbors which will lead to further progress of the peoples in the Middle East.”

The conference called on Jewish communities in the British Commonwealth to assist in the establishment of good relations between their governments and Israel, and urged Jewish communities to maintain “close cultural links with Israel, promote the knowledge of Hebrew and Jewish history, grant scholarships to students at the Hebrew University and religious colleges in Israel, who will then fill communal posts.”

IMPLEMENTATION OF U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CONVENTION URGED

On the subjects of human rights and foreign affairs, the parley urged the setting up of machinery for implementation of the U.N. convention on human rights, to enable individuals and organizations to bring complaints of human rights violation before the United Nations. The conference also urged speedy ratification of the U.N. convention outlawing genocide by those governments which have not yet done so and expressed support for efforts to return Jewish war orphans to the Jewish fold and promote the adoption of the principle that children separated from their parents by the war, or other emergencies, be reared in the religion of their parents.

The conference noted “reports of anti-Semitic manifestations in Germany and Austria, failure of the denazification program and increasing Fascist influence” and called on public opinion to “bring pressure on the occupying powers to take action to ensure that in revised occupation statutes and eventual treaties with Germany and Austria, provisions will be included to curb movements which threaten the existence of Jewish communities not only in Germany, but also in other countries.”

Other resolutions approved by the conference urged promotion of the U.N. convention to abolish statelessness, supported the U.N. convention protecting the rights of migrants and called for inclusion in the U.N. draft convention on freedom of information and of the press of provisions checking the abuse of this freedom by defamatory propaganda and incitement against groups on grounds of ethnic or religious differences.

The conference also expressed support for efforts of the United Restitution Office and the Jewish Trust Corporation to secure the return of private and communal heirless Jewish property in Germany and Austria for the purposes of rehabilitation and resettlement of victims of Nazism. Recommendations approved by the delegates on anti-defamation work stress the importance of cooperation between Jews and non-Jews in this field, since “anti-Semitism has been exploited to subvert the democratic way of life.” Other recommendations adopted by the parley deal with the problems of community libel and dissemination of propaganda through the mails.

A resolution providing for establishment of a clearing house in London for the exchange of information on educational matters was approved by the delegates. It was suggested in this resolution that prospective Jewish teachers undergo a period of study in Israel as part of their training.

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