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Canadian Govt, Charged with Inactivity on Soviet Treatment of Jews

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The Canadian Government has been assailed by a Member of Parliament who is also national director of the Jewish Labor Committee for not taking action against anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union.

David Orlikow, New Democratic Party member for Winnipeg North, told a Workman’s Center meeting that External Affairs Minister Paul Martin said the right things but always voted the wrong way or abstained. He was reporting on the results of a protest against anti-Semitism made November 19 to the Soviet Embassy by a joint delegation of the Canadian Labor Congress, the New Democratic Party and the Jewish Labor Committee.

The deputy quoted from a letter written to Mr. Martin by Michael Garber, chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress, asking for a direct Government protest to the Soviet Government about the death sentence for a rabbi convicted of speculating in gold currency.

He said the Minister, in a reply dated October 30, stated that it was the Canadian Government’s policy not to take any action that would emphasize the fact that Soviet Jews had connections outside of Russia. The Minister also wrote that the Government might make a reference in the United Nations to religious persecution in the Soviet Union but that it would not specifically refer to Jews.

Harry Simon, Ontario director of the Canadian Labor Congress, also reported on the visit to the Soviet Embassy. He told the meeting that he thought Prime Mininster Lester Pearson was a friend of Jews but also that he felt the Prime Minister was politically naive in following a line of appeasement toward Soviet injustices toward Russian Jews.

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