JOHANNESBURG (Sep. 3)
A resolution calling on the Government of the Republic of South Africa to ban racial or religious incitement against any section of the country’s population was adopted unanimously here today at the biennial congress of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. The congress, first gathering of its kind since South Africa left the British Commonwealth, also reaffirmed the Jewish community’s loyalty to the republic, expressing a "prayer for lasting peace, prosperity and progress for South Africa and all its inhabitants."
Prior to adoption of the resolution, Dr. Teddy Schneider, chairman of the Board, told the delegates from all over the country, in his keynote address, that, while the position of the Jews in South Africa was "generally satisfactory," recent incidents had shown there were "individuals and organizations, here as well as overseas, that are advancing the hateful doctrines of Nazism."
In Dr. Schneider’s address, as well as in the resolution against racism, emphasis was laid on the fact that both the Government and leaders of non-Jewish public opinion here, had denounced anti-Semitism. The resolution noted the fact that the "great majority of South Africans have agreed with the Prime Minister’s appeal of last November to keep the country free from anti-Semitism."
The resolution noted there had been "an explosion" of condemnations of such incidents as the increasing distribution of anti-Jewish propaganda and the recent blasting of a bomb at the Monument to Martyred European Jewry in the Johannesburg Jewish cemetery. Nevertheless, Dr. Schneider stressed, "the Government should take a serious view of such propaganda, and introduce legislation to protect all sections of the population against racial incitement."
DELEGATES DEPLORE INJECTION OF JEWISH ISSUES IN POLITICAL CONTROVERSIES
Another resolution declared unanimously that the Beard "deplores any attempts from within or outside the Jewish community to introduce Jewish issues into political controversies in South Africa." The resolution reiterated the Jewish community’s insistence that "there is no collective Jewish attitude on political issues," emphasizing that: "Jewish citizens exercise the same rights as do other citizens to hold personal, political opinions and to exercise civic responsibilities through political parties and individual free choice."
At the same time, the congress urged Jewish citizens to make their contributions in accordance with the teachings of Judaism "toward promotion of understanding, good will and cooperation between all races, and toward a peaceful and secure future for all inhabitants on the principles of justice and the dignity of the individual."
The congress, which has been in session all this weekend, heard South African Jewry’s contributions to civic life extolled by Johannesburg Mayor Keith Fleming, who formally greeted the delegates. Other speakers were Jacob Dorom, Israeli Consul-General here, and Sir Barnett Janner, president of the British Board of Jewish Deputies. The growth of the organization during the last half century was reviewed in another address, by Namie Phillips, president of the Board.
Sir Barnett, paying his first visit to this country, delivered an address in which he summarized the position of world Jewry. He emphasized the difficulties suffered by the Jews in the Soviet Union, the situation of the Jews in Argentina, the "parlous" position of the Algerian Jews, and the achievements recorded by Israel.
British courts imposed sentences today on more than 40 persons arrested in a wild melee that erupted when hostile listeners broke through strong police cordons to attack Sir Oswald Mosley yesterday and smash a meeting of his fascist Union Movement in the heavily Jewish East End section of London.
Mosley had originally planned a march through that section, but was forced to cancel that activity when the London Police Commissioner, Sir John Simpson, under mounting public pressure on British Home Secretary Henry Brooke, banned all political parades in the area during the weekend.
A related clash occurred in nearby Dalston, where the anti-fascist Yellow Star movement held a marathon 12-hour rally to prevent another neo-Nazi group, the British
National party, from holding a planned meeting there. The neo-Nazis gave up after waiting through an all-night series of speeches. But when several "nationalists" tried to hold a meeting a few blocks from the Yellow Stay site, they were attached and beaten, a number of them being hospitalized.
One of the first to be sentenced today was a man who had previously been convicted three times for similar attacks on British neo-Nazis at public rallies. Sentenced to 21 days, he said that, if fighting fascism meant breaking the law, he intended to go right on breaking it. Another defendant said he had been awarded six medals during World War II for fighting Nazis. Most of the defendants received fines of two to ten pounds (S5.60 to $28).
MOSLEY BEATEN, PELTED WITH EGGS; SYNAGOGUE BOMBED, NONE INJURED
Mosley was kicked and punched when the roaring crowd of 3,000 broke up his meeting despite efforts by police reinforcements eight deep seeking to protect him. He was hit as he left his car for the platform to make a speech. His first words were drowned out in a storm of catcalls. At the suggestion of police, Mosley decided to halt the meeting. The crowd broke through, and Moslem scampered for his car, the target of a shower of rotten eggs. The incident was almost a repetition of a similar meeting a month ago, in another section of the East End, when he was knocked down and kicked.
As a result of the riotous neo-Nazi meetings, the Home Secretary barred the use of London’s Trafalgar Square to the ultra-right wing groups, and followed that up with the ban on political parades.
The fascist leader declared after his meeting was broken up that he had publicly condemned Hitler "and the killing of the Jews in cold blood" and that he was not an anti-Semite. He contended that there was a "systematic" Communist campaign "to confuse us with the lunatic fringe like Jordan, whose ideas are completely alien to us." The reference was to Colin Jordan, leader of the British National Socialists who, with three other party officials, faces trial on charges of violating the British Public Order Act.
Rev. William Sargent, founder of the Yellow Star, reported before the Sunday meetings got underway that he and his wife had received threatening telephone calls, including one referring to a blast Friday night at the Adath Yisroel synagogue.
Rev. Sargent said the caller said "we dynamited the synagogue, and if you don’t Keep your mouth shut, well dynamite you." Explosive experts were studying fragments of the home-made bomb which exploded 40 minutes after some 100 worshipers had completed services and left. Damage was slight. The synagogue is about a mile from Ridley Road Dalston, where the Yellow Star movement held its marathon rally yesterday.