Moscow Reported Increasingly Sensitive to Foreign Criticism on Jews

“The Status of Jewish life in the Soviet Union these days is neither clear cut nor capable of generalization, ” the New York Times reports today in a cable from Moscow analyzing the Jewish situation there.

“Jewish organizations overseas can cite individual examples to back up their charges of persecution and cultural genocide, the cable says. “The Soviet Government can–and does–cite other instances to argue that these complaints are unjustified. The most significant development for Soviet Jewry in recent months has been just this. An increasing sensitivity on the part of Soviet authorities to foreign criticism and consequent eagerness to reply.”

The Moscow correspondent emphasizes that “the Soviet Union is clearly on the defensive about its 2-1/2 million Jews and observers are willing to give foreign pressures much of the credit. Whether this sensitivity will result in a more liberal treatment of the Jewish population, over a long term remains to be seen.”

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