Jews Urged to Campaign for Ratification of Human Rights Pacts
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Jews Urged to Campaign for Ratification of Human Rights Pacts

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James Marshall of the American Jewish Committee and Rene Cassin, of the Alliance Israelite Universelle of France, called upon the Jews of the world today to get behind a campaign for the ratification of the draft human rights covenants. They voiced their pleas at the Consultative Conference of Jewish Organizations, which is being attended by some 100 delegates from welfare organizations and Jewish communities in 19 countries.

“Jews, who too often have been victims of human rights, should be indefatigable among the champions of those rights,” M. Cassin insisted. He noted that the cold war” had stiffened resistance to the adoption of the covenants but said: “The fight for human rights must be carried on at all levels, internal and international, by means of conventions, recommendations and studies.” He said he favored ratification of the covenants though their contents maybe “imperfect,” as long as they contain “serious means of implementation.”

Mr. Marshall urged United Nations sponsorship of public hearings in all parts of the world on the need for human rights. This he held would bring better understanding of the meaning of the covenants’ text. It would not, he declared, create opposition to the covenants, although it would serve to uncover secret opposition to their adoption.

The AJC leader said that the time was not yet ripe for United States adoption of these documents, but pledged that the AJC would continue its efforts in behalf of the covenants. Norman Bentwich of Britain expressed surprise that the U.S. should hesitate to adopt the covenants, adding that this development was particularly regrettable since the U.S. had fathered the idea of a bill of rights.


A warning that the small West European Jewish communities were in danger of disappearing within the next few decades was voiced at the parley this morning by Max Gottshalk of Belgium, who called for immediate action by the larger Jewish communities to reverse this trend. While democracy leaves Judaism free to flourish, he pointed out, it also permits it to decline if Jewish family life and institutions do not offer the satisfactions and bonds necessary to withstand the pull away from Judaism.

To illustrate his point, M. Gottshalk noted that in Switzerland a country untouched by the war, one-third of all the Jews who married between 1940 and 1951 had taken non-Jews as mates. These figures held equally for other countries, he stated. Another member of the Belgian delegation, Leopold Noudel, proposed the establishment of an international Jewish educational and cultural organization similar to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to bridge the gap between the Jewish faith and Jews who were “slipping into another world.”

It was revealed today that when the conference got under way, R. N. Carvalho, president of the Anglo-Jewish Association of Britain, one of the sponsoring organizations of the parley, had sent a message of greetings to Queen Elizabeth II on behalf of the AJA and the other sponsoring groups, the AJC and the Alliance. The Queen’s message of thanks was received by the conference today.

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