NEW YORK (Oct. 17)
The Soviet Government was charged today with making misleading statements designed to divert world attention from Russia’s official discrimination against her Jews.
The charge was made by the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry, which includes twenty-four major American Jewish organizations, in the form of an open letter to the editor of the Soviet government newspaper, Izvestia. The open letter, in response to an article that appeared in the controlled Soviet paper on October 7, was signed by Rabbi Seymour Cohen, chairman of the conference. Rabbi Cohen is president of the Synagogue Council of America.
The Izvestia article, the letter asserts, seeks to confuse world opinion and divert the attention of Soviet Jews and non-Jews alike from the situation at home by pointing up the incidence of anti-Semitism in the United States. But, in so doing, it says, the Soviet has “unwittingly pointed up the shocking and tragic contrast between the freedom of Jews in the United States and the enforced silence and fear of Soviet Jews.”
The editor of the Soviet journal must have known, Rabbi Cohen wrote, that the anti-Semitic practices to which he referred had no official governmental sanction and would in many cases be against federal law today. “By contrast,” the letter continued, “the Soviet Government not only blinks at anti-Semitism, but itself imposes discriminatory restrictions and limitations upon Soviet Jews.”