UNITED NATIONS, NY (Oct. 29)
Israel today spoke up sharply at the United Nations against anti-Semitism and racism throughout the world, pinpointing the recent outbreaks of anti-Jewish activities of neo-Nazis and neo-Fascists in Britain and the United States, and sharply condemning anti-Jewish religious and cultural discriminations in the Soviet Union.
The Israel statement, dealing with the entire gamut of “manifestations of racial prejudice and national and religious intolerance,” was made before the General Assembly’s 110-member Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee by Michael S. Comay, permanent chairman of Israel’s delegation here. He did not cite any country by name, but his references to the lands involved in one form of anti-Semitism or another were unmistakable.
The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee began this morning to debate a resolution, pending in various forms since January 1960, originally adopted by the Human Rights Commission’s Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. Since 1960, that draft has gone through various stages, being watered down to the draft on the agenda today, so that the term “anti-Semitism” does not appear. Arab representatives, backed by the Soviet bloc, were chiefly responsible for deletion of specific mention of anti-Semitism. However, the draft is still considered a strong condemnation of all forms of racism.
Mr. Comay was the opening speaker in the committee debate on this issue. He expressed Israel’s feeling that the text should “express reference to anti-Semitism” and requested not only that the resolution be adopted but also that the Assembly instruct the United Nations Secretary-General to report to the Assembly in 1963 on what steps, if any, member states had taken to wipe out anti-Semitism.
SEES SOVIET JEWS SINGLED OUT, MADE SCAPEGOATS FOR ECONOMIC DIFFICULTIES
Without naming the USSR, but aiming directly at the Kremlin regime, Mr. Comay told the committee: “I refer to what may broadly be termed cultural discrimination: cases where minority groups are denied the freedom and facilities to maintain their distinctive language, literature and traditions. It is painful for us to state that a large section of the Jewish people has been singled out for such discrimination, in a land which officially recognizes the identity of each ethnic, national and religious group within its borders–including the Jewish group, the members of which are formally described in their documents of identity as being Jewish in nationality.
“As a religious group, too, this community is deprived of the prerogatives which are still extended to other faiths, such as the production of sacred books and articles, the training of clerics, and contact between the different local communities within the country, or between them and Jewish communities elsewhere.
“In brief, the Jewish community of that country has been tragically cut off from its own rich religious and cultural heritage, as well as from its Jewish brethren in the rest of the world. Their helplessness is aggravated by the growing (though by no means original)trend to find Jewish scapegoats for economic difficulties.”
DENOUNCES SMASHING OF SYNAGOGUE WINDOWS, BRANDING YOUTHS WITH SWASTIKAS
Bracketing the situation of Jews in the Soviet Union and the anti-Semitic outbreaks in Latin America, Mr. Comay told the committee that “hardly a week has gone by during the current year without a report of some act of anti-Semitic violence in some country. Bombs
Mr. Comay, who visited South America last summer, during the height of the resurgence of anti-Semitism in various countries, including Argentina, Uruguay and Guatemala, declared: “It might be tempting to dismiss most of these incidents as the work of lunatics or juvenile delinquents. But, of late, organized Nazi groups have become bolder in some countries. Their leaders are frustrated would-be fuehrers, surrounded by youthful and black shirted storm-troopers who were hardly born when the Third Reich died. In their public rallies there are heard once again the obscene cries of the Nazi era.
“I have no wish to exaggerate the size or importance of these groups, or the measure of their menace. Yet we cannot ignore them, or persuade ourselves that they will wither away before derision. Such movements feed upon intolerance and envy; they gain support from former Nazis who have found refuge elsewhere, or from local reactionary elements; and they seem to find ample funds for public demonstrations, floods of anti-Semitic pamphlets, and the legal costs of their defense on those occasions when they are prosecuted”
NAMES ROCKWELL, JORDAN; DEPLORES MISUSE OF DEMOCRACY TO PROTECT TOTALITARIANS
Mr. Comay also criticized “law-abiding and liberal” countries like the United States and Britain, naming such neo-Nazis as England’s Colin Jordan and America’s George Lincoln Rockwell on whose behalf,” he charged, “freedom of speech is invoked to protect its very negation: the preaching of totalitarian doctrines. In the face of this democratic quandary,” he said, “insufficient account has been taken of the fact that Nazism in all its manifestations became recognized as criminal after World War II, and that many Nazi leaders have been found guilty of this crime not only at the Nuremberg Trials but under various national legal systems since then. Freedom of expression has certain obvious limits; it cannot properly be exploited to propagate concepts which the civilized world has branded as inherently criminal.”
“Let me say in all fairness,” Mr. Comay added, “that the activities of the Rockwell and Colin Jordans, and their counterparts in Latin America and elsewhere, are arousing the contempt of responsible public opinion, and more serious attention than hitherto from the authorities of the countries concerned. These manifestations are far from being only a Jewish matter. They may start with anti-Jewish feeling, but the attack soon broadens out to include other groups against whom latent prejudice can be inflamed, and in due course it may undermine the whole fabric of society.”