NEW YORK (Oct. 24)
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, representing 21 national Jewish groups in the U.S. today called on the Soviet Union to reverse the action of its United Nations delegation in “frustrating” adoption of a U.N. convention condemning anti-Semitism.
The Soviet proposal, offered as an amendment to the Draft Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, had included Zionism among the practices condemned in the statement under consideration in the Third Committee of the U.N. General Assembly. An earlier amendment, co-sponsored by the United States and Brazil, listed anti-Semitism along with Nazism and other forms of race hatred.
“The falsehood embodied in the Soviet proposal is so blatant,” the Conference declared, “as to make it clear that it could never have been intended seriously but was rather designed simply to eliminate the possibility of any reference to anti-Semitism among the practices outlawed in the Draft Convention.
“Regrettably, that effort has succeeded. As a result of the Soviet maneuver, the General Assembly’s Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee has voted to exclude all amendments listing specific forms of hatred, including the one referring to anti-Semitism.
“We cannot believe that the Soviet people take any comfort from the action of their United Nations delegation in frustrating the worldwide desire to join in a condemnation of anti-Semitism under the auspices of the United Nations. But the damage has been done, at least for this session of the General Assembly, and for the time being there will be no reference to anti-Semitism in the Draft Convention.
“We can only hope that the Soviet government will reconsider and reverse the irresponsible and outrageous action by its U.N. delegation. No other government–including those of the Arab states–has ever been so brazen as to impose upon the U.N. this monstrous invention. Only in the inverted, surrealist world of totalitarianism is such a bracketing possible. The action of the Soviet Union is a libel upon the millions of victims of Nazism for whom the U.S.S.R. has in the past professed compassion and sympathy.”
The statement also voiced fear that the Soviet Union’s “crude attempt to malign the concept of Zionism can only serve to exacerbate the position of Soviet Russia’s 3,000,000 Jews.” Dr. Joachim Prinz, chairman of the Conference and president of the American Jewish Congress, sharply criticized “elaborate Soviet maneuvers to bracket Zionism with Nazism, anti-Semitism and other forms of race hatred.”
ISRAEL PREMIER EXPRESSES ‘DISMAY’ OVER SOVIET MOVE AT U.N.
Both Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Deputy Premier Abba Eban criticized the Soviet Government sharply this weekend for introduction by the Soviet delegation at the United Nations of an amendment bracketing Zionism with Nazism as part of a draft convention condemning all forms of racialism.
Expressing “deep dismay and regret over this deplorable attempt,” Mr. Eshkol asked how the Soviet Union “could consent to place our national liberation movement in the same category as the darkest forces that ever rose in history.” “Such behavior,” he stated, “does not redound to the credit of a great power that claims to support humanitarian values.”
Mr. Eban, speaking at Haifa before the 11th annual study mission of the United Jewish Appeal, said the U.S.S.R.’s attempt to lump Zionism with Nazism was indicative of “an atmosphere which gave more weight to vote gathering than to principles.” He recalled that, in 1948, while representing Israel at the United Nations, he had conferred frequently with Andrei A. Gromyko, now the U.S.S.R.’s Foreign Minister. “I spoke to him,” Mr. Eban declared, “in my capacity as the Zionist representative. Our meetings were concerned only with the achievement of the primary purpose of Zionism–the establishment of a Jewish State.”