PARIS (Apr. 9)
Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev came out with a severe attack on Israel and on the “Jewish distaste for collective life. ” He charged that Jews are “born individualists” and scored Soviet Jewry for failing to settle in Birobidjan which was proclaimed a Jewish autonomous region in the pre-war years, but is now no longer officially considered as such.
The anti-Jewish views were expressed today by the Soviet dictator in an exclusive interview with Figaro, a leading French daily newspaper which is publishing a series of statements by leading world political figures. Figaro will publish tomorrow an interview with Israel Premier David Ben Gurion.
“Israel, ” Mr. Khrushchev declared, “has not adopted a position favorable to the Jewish people at large. The Soviet Union had voted in the United Nations for the creation of Israel and supported the state from birth. But Israel has shown itself ungrateful and has made a mistaken choice. Israel plays the game of the imperialists and enemies of the Socialist countries, ” he continued. “We buy from Israel only a few oranges and can do without them, ” he boasted.
The Soviet Premier was even harsher in his judgment of the experiences of the Jews in Birobidjan. After praising the choice of an area assigned the Jews “rich, fertile and with a temperate climate” she said: “From all over Russia the Jews came to settle there. They arrived inflamed with enthusiasm, but soon most of them left.”
Commenting on the Jewish “distaste” for collective work and group discipline, Mr. Khrushcrev said: “For ages Jews worked as artisans; they don’t like collective work like industry, or construction or group work. They’re born individualists. A side from the new State of Israel, Jews never could resolve to live among themselves and on their own resources.”
The Soviet Premier and Communist chief also stressed what he called the intellectual inclination of the Jewish masses which, he said, “tears them away from other occupations.’ Other nationalities in the USSR have made a success of their communal national life, he added, while the Jews have failed. “This is the reason I am skeptical about the future of Jewish collectivity.”