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Zionist Actions Committee Appeals to Moscow to Restore Jewish Rights

An appeal to the Government of the Soviet Union to restore to Russia’s 3,000,000 Jews their rights to cultural and religious freedom, and to permit them to rejoin their families, especially those who are in Israel, was issued here today by the presidium and executive committee of the World Zionist Organization’s Actions Committee. The latter, highest ZOA body between world congresses, unanimously adopted the statement as a formal resolution.

“We call on the Soviet Union,” declared the appeal, “to return to the Jews in the USSR their rights to Jewish education, culture and religion, and to recognize the rights of the Jews in the Soviet Union to unite with their families and emigrate to Israel. The wrongs and disadvantages, to which the Jews in the Soviet Union have been subjected for years, cannot be atoned for except by their full rectification.”

Recalling that, in 1952, Jewish men of letters were executed at a secret trial, and the accusations leveled against them are still not known, the statement asserted: “Although the present Soviet authorities have disassociated themselves from those events, and though the Soviet people and leaders today are righting the wrongs committed in the past, the crying injustice strangling Jewish culture and religion has not been amended.”

“The Jews in the USSR,” the statement continued, “form the last large community of European Jewry remaining after the Nazi holocaust. Thousands of Soviet Jews have tens of thousands of ties with their severed families, with whom they share a national tradition calling for a life of national freedom on the soil of their homeland. Russian Jewry is in dissolubly related to the remaining sections of the Jewish people in general, and especially to those who form the heart of the nation dwelling in Zion.

“On the tenth anniversary of that dastardly attempt forcefully to liquidate Jewish culture in the Soviet Union, the presidium and executive of the Zionist Actions Committee turn to our brethren in the USSR with a call of encouragement, expressing the hope and belief that the day is not far off when they will have their national rights returned and will regain their right and freedom to Jewish education, their freedom to spiritual creativeness both in Yiddish and Hebrew, and the right of every Jew wishing to do so to be reunited with his family and to emigrate to his National Homeland.”

The statement concluded with an appeal to the Government of the USSR to restore those rights, reminding the Soviet people and Government of “the historic partnership of the Jewish people with the peoples of the USSR in the war against Nazism.”

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