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Israel Opposes U.S. and Soviet Russia in U.N. Debate on Human Rights

Israel today opposed both the United States and the Soviet Union in a debate in the General Assembly’s committee dealing with human rights, as the group continued to debate a draft United Nations declaration that would call for the elimination of all racial discrimination.

One of the proposed articles in the draft was being backed by the Soviet Union, calling for the disbanding and prohibition of all “racist and neo-Fascist organizations.” Dr. Eliezer Yapou, Israel’s representative in the committee, opposed the Russian phrasing as “vague and subject to arbitrary interpretation.” (The Soviet press has frequently branded Zionism and Jewish religious activities as “neo-Fascist.”)

At the same time, Dr. Yapou opposed the United States view, which would call only for “condemning” racist organizations. He did not name either the U.S.A. or the USSR in his intervention but, instead, voiced strong backing for a Brazilian draft which holds that all groups propagandizing racial superiority or inciting to hatred be “punishable under criminal law,” be prohibited and disbanded.

Asserting that Israel was opposed to censorship against any group, Dr. Yapou told the committee: “Incitement is a call for action, not an expression of opinion. To shout ‘Jews to the crematoria’ is not an expression of an idea but a call for action–and action can be countered only by action.”

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