MIAMI BEACH, Fla (May. 15)
The “continuing acquiescence by the State Department in the Arab campaign aimed at making the Jews of America second class citizens,” was assailed today by Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the American Jewish Congress, In his presidential address to the national biennial convention of the AJC now taking place here.
“The State Department keeps repeating that it does not approve the Arab boycott,” Dr. Goldstein told the 500 delegates. “We of the American Jewish Congress declare that our government has not sufficiently condemned the boycott and publicly made known the fact that such practices are deeply repugnant to American tradition.
“Unlike a number of other governments,” the AJC leader charged, “the United States has never asked American manufacturers, chambers of commerce, importers or exporters to refrain from answering any questionnaires about the religious composition of their personnel.
“Our government has never directed the American business and shipping community to ignore the Arab boycott and blockade. Nor has it taken steps to eliminate discrimination by Arab diplomats in this country in the issuance of consular invoices covering exports. We ask our government to vigorously oppose the Arab boycott of American citizens.”
The situation of the nearly 3, 000, 000 Jews in the Soviet Union is “by far the largest problem which confronts the Jewish people today, ” Dr. Goldstein told the convention. “The Jews of the Soviet Union have oscillated between Stalin’s terror and Khrushchev’s uneasy toleration. Forty years of the Soviet regime have all but weathered their spirits, all but liquidated their uniquely Jewish culture and dissipated the religious life. Another such 40 years may well spell their doom as Jews.
“Only immigration to Israel can still save them. The half million Jews of the Soviet satellite countries are able to breathe somewhat more freely in the exercises of their religion and culture. Yet they too live under regime which are officially anti-religious and among people who are affected with anti-Semitism. Their long range future is in doubt unless they can transplant themselves to Israel.”
Referring to Niklta Khrushchev’s “animadversions” on the subject of Jews, Dr. Goldstein commented: “If he should still cling to his biased views about the characteristics of Jews in Russia then it should occur to him that Russia’s Jews as well as Russia itself would be better off if Jews would be permitted to go to Israel.”