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Jewish Congress Seeks to Prevent Admission of Rumania to UNESCO

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Rumania’s application for membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is “incompatible” with its persecution of Jewish leaders and its attack on the spiritual autonomy of the Rumanian Jewish community, the World Jewish Congress today told the UN Economic and Social Council which is considering a Rumanian Government bid for membership in UNESCO.

In a statement submitted by Rabbi Maurice Perlzweig and A. L. Easterman, WJC leaders, it was noted that there was a contradiction between the policy pursued by the Rumanian Government of depriving the Jewish community of its intellectual freedom through the imprisonment of its leaders, and the fundamental principle of UNESCO of “the free exchange of ideas and knowledge” and its fundamental purpose “to further universal respect for justice” and for the “rule of law.”

In view of the repressive policy followed by the Rumanian Government, the WJC spokesman said, “we have no choice but to draw the attention of the United Nations to the incompatibility of membership in UNESCO with actions of the Rumanian Government which must result in the destruction of the spiritual autonomy of the Jewish community through the elimination of its independent leadership.

“We express the hope, “the statement continued, “that discussion of these issues in the Council may help to persuade the Rumanian Government to revise its policy and set free the Jewish leaders who have been so unjustly condemned to these cruel sentences. The injustice of these sentences is all the more grave because they were imposed for activities which were perfectly legal at the time when they were undertaken.”

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