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U.S. Proposal Condemning Anti-semitism Forwarded to U.N. Assembly

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The United Nations Economic and Social Council today forwarded to the next session of the General Assembly a proposal made by the United States, calling for outright condemnation of anti-Semitism as a specific form of racial discrimination.

A Russian amendment to that effect, calling for the inclusion of Fascism, Nazism, neo-Nazism and other forms of discrimination along with anti-Semitism, was also forwarded to the Assembly. The Council requested the next session of the Assembly to discuss the American draft as well as the amendment, but recommended the adoption of the American clause.

The proposal for the condemnation of anti-Semitism had been introduced to the Human Rights Commission last winter by Mrs. Marietta Tree, head of the U.S. delegation to the Commission. Here, the Council’s Social Committee passed the measure on to the full Council. The latter body, in turn, has now decided to let the entire Assembly deal with the issue.

The rest of the draft Convention on the Elimination of all Racial Discrimination, without the American-sponsored article and its Russian amendment, was adopted unanimously by the entire Council. However, the Convention cannot become effective until the Assembly has voted on it. Such a favorable vote is certain.

A companion document, proposing a draft Declaration and Convention on the Elimination of All Religious Discrimination, was sent to the Assembly for further consideration. The Social Committee had reported to the full Council that it had not had time to debate the religious freedoms item in full.

Franklin H. Williams, of the U.S. delegation, expressed “surprise” at the Social Committee’s “meager accomplishments.” He told the Council that there have been “far too many instances of governments deliberately denying human rights and individual freedoms, too many examples of man’s inhumanity to man.”

Since the Soviet Union had been severely criticized here for its persecution of Jewry by Ambassador Moshe Bartur, official Council observer for Israel, Mr. Williams’ remarks were understood as a barb aimed at the USSR. The Soviet Union, supported by Arab delegations, has been fighting for nearly three years for further delays in the proposal to adopt a document condemning religious intolerance.

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