WASHINGTON (Oct. 6)
A drive will be made in the House of Representatives, when Congress reconvenes, to adopt a new resolution resurrecting the spirit of the deleted Senate “Ribicoff amendment,” denouncing Soviet anti-Semitism, Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democrat, announced today.
Meanwhile, however, it was learned that another Congressman of Jewish faith, Rep. Abraham J. Multer, New York Democrat, endorsed the Fulbright substitute amendment which replaced the more specific and forceful Ribicoff measure. The deleted Ribicoff amendment to the Foreign Aid bill pinpointed Soviet oppression of Jews, while a substitute by Sen. W.J. Fulbright eliminated all direct reference to that problem, and merely spoke of the persecution of any persons, because of their religion, anywhere in the world.
In remarks on the House floor immediately before adjournment, Rep. Multer lauded the vaguely worded Fulbright substitute, and the action of the Senate-House conference committee which substituted it for the Ribicoff amendment. He found Sen. Fulbright’s measure to be “most salutary.” He said “the conferees are to be complimented” for adopting the Fulbright language.
Sen. Fulbright, Arkansas Democrat, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was the lone senator to vote against the Ribicoff amendment. The Ribicoff amendment was favored by 82 senators.
Rep. Farbstein, the only Jewish member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said today “it is vital that the Congress serve notice to the Kremlin that the Congress will not forget the plight of Soviet Jewry.” He said “it is a pity” that the conference substituted the Fulbright amendment for the “really effective and meaningful one offered by Sen. Ribicoff.”
Confidence was voiced by Rep. Farbstein that a House resolution would succeed. Thomas Morgan, Pennsylvania Democrat, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is believed to take a position on this issue different from that held by Sen. Fulbright.
State Department sources meanwhile made known that the Department still opposes “for tactical reasons” any Congressional expression against Soviet anti-Semitism. It was said that the experts relied upon by the Department for information on Soviet Jewry felt such an expression would prove counter-productive.