Soviet Mistreatment of Jews Attacked in Both Houses of U.S. Congress

Grave concern over the continued pressures by the Soviet Government on the Jews in the Soviet Union was expressed today in a lengthy report on the situation of Soviet Jewry presented to the U.S. Senate by Senator Jacob K. Javits, New York Republican, who recently visited the USSR. At the same time, Soviet discriminations against Jews were condemned in the House of Representatives by Congressman Abraham Multer, New York Democrat.

In his report, prepared for delivery today on the floor of the Senate, Sen. Javits called for a “world scale protest against the anti-Jewish persecutions in the Soviet Union.” Rep. Multer, addressing the House, said that the Soviet Government is using anti-Semitism for “political ends.” He said that the present regime in Moscow is sanctioning anti-Jewish action “in the manner of the Czarist regimes.”

Senator Javits told the Senate in his report that “the continued existence of the Jews in the Soviet Union may be in danger” unless the free world “makes known its strong disapproval” of the Soviet measures against Jews. Declaring that “all signs indicate a steadily deteriorating situation that was signaled by the prosecution of Jewish community and religious leaders in Leningrad and Moscow, last October, “Sen. Javits stated:

“The immediate intent of Soviet authorities in taking these measures is apparently to warn Jews that it will not tolerate any emigration of Jews to Israel or any pro-Israel agitation toward that end–the long-range purpose is quite clearly the liquidation of Judaism and Jewish consciousness in the USSR.”

“All the rigid Soviet protestations that there is no Jewish problem in the Soviet Union and that anti-Semitism is against the law cannot disguise the fact that the plight of its Jewish citizens is grave and complex,” Senator Javits continued. “Developments this past weekend indicate that the pressure of the attack on Jews in the Soviet Union is continuing. The obviously trumped-up accusations of spying in synagogues create new elements of danger in addition to those that have already existed.”

Senator Javits said that Jews in the Soviet Union are recognized as a nationality in the Soviet Union but are not given the rights accorded other nationalities in the USSR. Despite more than 40 years of pressures and restrictions of all kinds to discourage religious identification and to isolate them from other Jewish communities throughout the world, 2,268,000 persons voluntarily declared themselves to be Jews in the January 1959 census, of whom 472,000 gave Yiddish as their native tongue,” he pointed out.

(Tourists just returned from the Soviet Union have reported the closing of the only kosher public dining room in Moscow, located in the Moscow Yeshiva, according to the Jewish Day-Morning Journal, New York Yiddish daily newspaper.)

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