U.S. Communists Admit Moscow Suppresses Jewish Cultural Institutions

A draft resolution prepared by the national education department of the Communist Party of the United States, disclosed today, would call on the Government of the Soviet Union for “the restoration of the administratively suppressed Jewish cultural institutions.” The draft was made public here in “Political Affairs,” the theoretical monthly journal of the U.S. Communist Party. It stressed that it was prepared in response to proposals “relative to the Jewish question” made at the party’s last national convention, last June.

A preface to the draft resolution indicated clearly that there is, as yet, no unanimity among the party’s leaders on the approach to the Soviet Union regarding the Jewish question. The preface noted that the last convention ordered that a national conference “on work among the Jewish people and the fight against anti-Semitism” be convened. It is stated now that such a conference is tentatively scheduled for November 12 and 13 when the draft resolution is to be debated. “This procedure was decided upon because of the existence of differing views on a number of important questions and the need to thresh them out thoroughly, the preface stated.

The draft resolution would refer to reports of “Soviet anti-Semitism” as a “slander and outright fraud which must be rejected and fought.” It would blame “suppression of Jewish cultural institutions and executions of cultural figures” on the Stalin regime, and would declare that there is “no official policy of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union” since “anti-Semitism and all other forms of national discrimination or privilege are prohibited by the Constitution of the USSR.”

While thus defending the present USSR regime, the draft resolution was seen as conceding most of the criticisms leveled against the USSR in regard to anti-Jewish practices. It conceded; 1. “The existence of such shortcomings as the crude, fallacious, anti-religious propaganda embodied in books of the Kichko or Schakhnowitz varieties; 2. “Continued limitations such as lack of prayer books experienced by religious Jewish people; 3. “The absence of a campaign against persistent expressions of remnants of anti-Semitism; 4. “The slowness of restoration of Jewish culture.” “All these have enabled the cold war instigators of the campaign regarding ‘fraudulent Soviet anti-Semitism’ to meet with a considerable degree of success in these efforts,” the draft resolution said.

The draft resolution condemned “political Zionism,” but claimed that Communists supported the establishment of Israel. It condemned the Israeli Government for the 1956 Sinai attack against Egypt, blaming Israel’s “military aggression” on the policies of the then Israel Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, charging Mr. Ben-Gurion with oppressing the Arab minority in Israel and with “refusal to recognize the rights of the more than 1,000,000 Arab refugees.” It blamed Ben-Gurion for entering into economic and diplomatic relations with West Germany, and said that the people of Israel have given up the “activist” Ben-Gurion “pro-Imperialist” policies, crediting the current Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, with “bettering relations with the Socialist countries.”

The draft also blamed “regrettably a number of Arab leaders, some of them outright reactionaries” for advocating war against Israel. It called on both Israel and the Arab states to reach agreement “in the spirit of Tashkent” as “essential to peace in the Middle East.”

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