Jewish Members of U.S. Trade Union Group Barred by Syria and Jordan

Syria and Jordan have barred three American Jews scheduled to visit there next month as members of a trade union group, it was reported today by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (AFL-CIO).

A spokesman for the union disclosed that the Arab governments had refused visas to the Jewish members of a union-sponsored tour of Europe and the Middle East, scheduled to leave New York July 12. The action of the Arab governments had been in violation of earlier assurances that there would be no discrimination against the Jewish members of the group.

The union spokesman disclosed that Egypt and Lebanon, which are also on the itinerary, had not barred the three Jewish union members. He said the refusal by Jordan and Syria to grant visas to the Jewish members of the group came “too late for us to change our plans.” He added: “We will not again plan visits to these or any other countries where our members would be exposed to such indignities and religious prejudice.”

Charging “bad faith” on the part of Syrian and Jordanian consular officials here, the union spokesman declared: “We deplore the attempts by these countries to divide our members on the basis of religion. Our union makes no distinction whatsoever among its members in terms of race, religion or ancestry and we resent the fact that such irrelevant and extraneous considerations have been forced on us.”

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