JERUSALEM (Jan. 14)
The Soviet charges against the group of “Jewish terrorist doctors” arrested in Moscow, as well as their meaning for the future of Soviet Jewry will be discussed by the Israel Parliament next Monday, it was announced today.
The Israeli police guard outside the Soviet Legation in Tel Aviv was increased yesterday. An official of the legation was reported today to have expressed astonishment at the great number of persons who telephoned the legation to verify the news reports from Moscow.
A former Chief Rabbi of Moscow died here of a heart attack yesterday while listening to a broadcast of the news from Moscow. The rabbi, 73-year-old Jacob Clemes, has two children, both physicians in Moscow. Neither of the two–the son, a professor of medicine, and the daughter, a practicing physician–were named in the Moscow indictment. Rabbi Clemes served as Chief Rabbi of Moscow from 1927 to 1933.
A demand that the accusations against the nine doctors be investigated by an international medical commission was voiced here tonight by the Israel Medical Association. In a statement to the press, the I. M. A. declared: “We are dumbfounded by the Russian radio and Pravda’s editorial accusing the most outstanding Russian physicians of the murder of Soviet leaders and an attempt to shorten the lives of other Soviet leaders. We do not believe that there are physicians in the Soviet Union ready and capable of using their knowledge and experience for crimes, against professional ethics.”
The entire Israel press continued to be filled with reports and commentaries based on the Moscow developments, with virtually every newspaper attacking the charges and stressing the danger to the Jewish community of the U. S. S. R. resulting from the latest development. Some newspapers charge the Soviets with using the Nazi propaganda system while others speculate whether this development is an attempt to break the ties between Russian Jewry and Jews abroad in preparation for war.
One foreign diplomat, who visited Moscow not too long ago, is reported as stating that the largest jail in Moscow is facetiously referred to as the “synagogue” because 80 percent of its inmates are Jews.