JERUSALEM (Apr. 5)
Berl Locker, co-chairman of the Jewish Agency, today hailed the Soviet Government’s “courage” in exonerating the 15 Moscow doctors, six of whom are Jews, charged with the murder of several top Soviet leaders. At the same time, he urged the ending of the Anti-Jewish campaign and suggested that Soviet leaders “review” their diplomatic rupture with Israel.
Describing the latest Soviet move as “a very rare occurrence.” Mr. Locker, in a statement to the press, pointed out that the quashing of the charges against the doctors “showed how justified were those who took a severely critical stand on the libel and who focused the attention of the world on it.”
He insisted that this was but the first step in righting the wrong done the Jews. “The exploding of this charge itself points to the blamelessness of all that Soviet and Communist quarters have alleged against such Jewish organizations as the Joint Distribution Committee, the Zionist organization and the Jewish world as a whole,” he said.
Mr. Locker expressed the hope that the Soviet authorities would take further steps in this direction and would review the “extreme measure” of breaking off relations with Israel, Such a change in policy would have a strong appeal to the people of Israel and peace-loving people throughout the world, he stressed.
The libels against the Jews neither began with the case of the accused physicians nor does it end there, Mr. Locker said. He recalled the Prague trial and the Communist attacks on the Zionist movement and Israel in the satellite countries. “We never faltered in our claim to Jewish emigration from those countries.” he concluded.
The Israel Medical Association, in a statement issued today, hailed the exoneration of the doctors. Dr. I. Avigdor, president of the IMA, said that the “Russian Government’s act is an important step to full understanding with the medical world in general and Jewish doctors and the Jewish people in particular.