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U.N. Parley in Geneva Hears Jewish Appeal Against Religious Intolerance

A strong appeal was made here today to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, now in session here, to adopt a convention for the elimination of religious intolerance that would hit directly at the Soviet Union’s denial of full religious rights to Russia’s 3,000,000 Jews. The appeal was made by Dr. Maurice L. Perlzweig, director of international affairs for the World Jewish Congress, who addressed the Commission as the representative of a non-governmental organization with consultative status.

Dr. Perlzweig, omitting direct mention of the USSR, insisted that the planned convention provide “unequivocally” for such religious rights as the right to preach one’s religion, obtain materials fort the observance of dietary and other ritual practices, maintain a national organization representing a religious faith, and participate in the religion’s international organization. All of these rights are at present denied to Jewry in the USSR.

Dr. Perlzweig spoke in reply to a proposal by Poland’s representative on the Commission, who had insisted that the specific religious rights be eliminated from the draft convention, leaving the proposed instrument as only a general statement. Dr. Perlzweig told the Commission that an action in accordance with the Polish proposal would make the convention no more meaningful than the general statements already embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other UN documents.