GENEVA (Apr. 4)
Against the opposition of the three Communist members and one of the Arabs on the body, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights decided overwhelmingly this weekend to include in the draft convention on elimination of all religious intolerance a clause proposed by Israel, making it mandatory on all governments to guarantee the right of all religious communities to “write, print and publish religious books and texts.” Without naming the Soviet Union, the clause was clearly aimed at the USSR, where those rights “to write, print and publish” are denied to Jews.
Associate Justice Haim Cohn of the Israeli Supreme Court, who is a delegate to the Commission, proposed that clause as an amendment to one of the articles of the projected religious freedoms convention. The draft convention has been debated by the Commission for a week. The Soviet Union, Ukrainian, Polish and Iraqi delegates on the Commission argued against the Cohn motion. When it came to a vote, 18 delegates of the 22-member Commission voted in favor of the Israeli motion; the USSR and Iraq voted against it, while Poland and the Ukraine abstained.
In another debate on one of the clauses proposed for the religious freedoms instrument, Morris B. Abram and Sir Samuel Hoare, respectively the United States and British delegates, obtained Communist agreement to a clause that would state clearly that no state may subject any religion or belief to governmental control. All three of the Communist delegations–the USSR, Poland and Ukraine–agreed with that point of view after Mr. Abram told the Commission he did not believe that any state has “superior judgment” in the field of religion.