BRUSSELS (Jan. 27)
The chairman and vice-chairman of the political commission of the Consultative Assembly of Europe, which opened its current session here today, called on the Assembly to urge the Soviet Union to ease its attitude toward Jews. Both stressed particularly the denial of cultural and religious rights to Russian Jewry and the refusal of the Moscow Government to permit Jews to emigrate for purposes of reunification with their families. The Assembly has consultative status before the European Common Market.
Finn Moe, Norwegian Labor Party representative to the Assembly and vice-chairman of the political commission, drew the body’s attention to a resolution dealing with the situation of Russian Jewry, now before the Commission, calling upon all member governments to urge, in their discussions with the USSR, that the rights of Jews be respected, “I am afraid,” he said, “that the present conditions of the Jewish minority in the Soviet Union only helps those who are opposed to an East-West detente. I hope the Assembly will agree to a motion on this item very soon.”
Paul Struye, chairman of the political commission, pointed out that no such motion is before the Assembly as yet, saying that the Commission has appointed a rapporteur to examine “the gravity” of the question. However, he deplored the fact that, according to the information thus far received, denial of cultural and religious rights to Russian Jews and refusal of permission for their emigration to reunify with their families “are as yet uncontradicted.”
He, too, warned that “the attitude of Soviet authorities toward the Jewish community, particularly in religious and cultural affairs and in regard to reunification of families,” plays into the hands of elements opposed to an East-West detente. He expressed the hope that a report with “appropriate recommendations” would be submitted to the Assembly’s next session.