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Johannesburg Jews Perturbed over Israel’s Stand at U.N. on St. Africa

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The South African Jewish community, the most Zionist-minded Jewish community outside of Israel and one with the highest per capita contributions to Israel and a distinguished record in aliyah, today indicated that it was deeply disturbed by Israel-South African developments in the United Nations.

One source of the concern was reports that Israel was being lobbied to vote for Afro-Asian moves to impose sanctions against South Africa or to expel it from the United Nations. It was pointed out in Jewish circles here that South African Jewry, while recognizing that Israel, as an independent state, must be the sole arbiter of its foreign policies, nevertheless feels that it is wrong in principle for Israel to align itself with any extreme action against a country in which the Jewish community enjoys every freedom and respect. Such action on Israel’s part may create a strain between Jews and non-Jews which previously did not exist, it was stressed.

South African Jews previously had criticized Israel’s support of the Afro-Asian censure motion against South Africa’s delegate in the United Nations. This criticism appeared in the Zionist Record, the organ of the South African Zionist Federation, and a statement issued by the South African Board of Jewish Deputies, the central representative body of South African Jewry.

In its current issue, the Jewish Herald, a Zionist-Revisionist organ, extended the criticism with the comment that “the censure vote established a dangerous precedent at the United Nations for it runs counter to the whole concept of freedom of speech in the General Assembly. Today it is South Africa and tomorrow the same group might seek to impose similar sanctions on Israel.”

The Herald expressed the opinion that too much stress had been placed on the friendship which some Afro-Asian countries have shown Israel. “The test of their sincerity would come when the Assembly votes on the Arab refugee issue,” the paper stated.

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