SYDNEY (Jun. 28)
Four leaders of the Australian Communist party admitted today that anti-Semitism exists in the Soviet Union, reiterating a position taken previosly by the party. They took that stand as members of a commission named by the party’s political committee in reply to a book by 1si Leibler, honorary secretary of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. The four were E. Aarons, A. Robertson, hex Mortimer and P. Mortier.
They declared, in a pamphlet, that like any other national minority in Russia, the Jewish people have the right to maintain their own national and cultural identity, if they wish to do so. “We support the request of such groups to have their language recognized and catered for, to pursue their cultural activities and to establish organizations.”
The four party members declared also that they opposed “assimilation brought about by administrative measures.” Asserting that the question of Yiddish language facilities in the Soviet Union was a controversial one, they added that they would nevertheless “welcome further progress in this field to ensure that all who wish it are afforded full facilities to express and enjoy their culture in the Yiddish language.”
They also urged that “scrupulous care” should be exercised by Soviet authorities “to ensure that there are no legal or constitutional obstacles” to the availability of requisite articles for religious observances, such as special foods and prayer books. They urged that there should be no official barriers to the training of clergy “to the extent adequate to the demands and to the rights of religious organizations” in Russia.