Israeli, Russian Clash in U.N. Committee on Soviet Treatment of Jews
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Israeli, Russian Clash in U.N. Committee on Soviet Treatment of Jews

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Representatives of Israel and the Soviet Union clashed bitterly here today in a discussion of the treatment of the Jews in the Soviet Union. Speaking in the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, Israel accused Moscow of a campaign of “vituperation and attrition” against the Jewish people and of denying to Jews in the Soviet Union the same minimal rights given to other nationalities and religions. The Soviet representative angrily denied the charges and accused Israel of a slander campaign to mar the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Russian Revolution.

Mrs. Zena Harman, a member of the Israeli delegation, told the committee that “the tactics of the ‘big lie,’ permissible as the means to an important political end in Soviet policy, resorted to by Stalin, has again reared its ugly head.”

Mrs. Harman said that “it is difficult to comprehend the policy of vituperation and attrition being wielded against my people. It is also regrettable that even those Jews wishing to maintain and perpetuate their cultural heritage in the Soviet Union are denied the same minimal rights and privileges permitted to other nationalities and religions in the Soviet Union itself. It is a fact,” she added, “that in 1956, there were 450 synagogues in the Soviet Union and today there are only 62,”

Mrs. Harman cited restrictions on Jewish religious and cultural activities. She charged that “there have been virulent, direct attacks against the Jewish religion as such and vicious attempts to denigrate the nature of the Jewish God, such as are contained in an article that appeared in Pravda Ukrainy, on September 6.”


Mrs. Harman cited sections of the Arab and Soviet press which were publishing cartoons “no less vile in their implications than those that appeared in the notorious “Der Stuermer,” of the hate-mongers Streicher and Goebbels. The same press and mass media disseminates the slander of an international Jewish conspiracy, cosmopolitanism, a modern Stalinist version of the ugly and discredited ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’.”

She mentioned the fact that these protocols were being printed and translated into several languages by a number of Arab countries. Mrs. Harman listed several former Nazis who had found “a welcome refuge” in Arab lands. She also deplored the attempt to equate anti-Semitism with Zionism as being “as vile and degrading a tactic as the worst kind of anti-Semitic assault.”

An immediate reply was made by N. Nasimoswski, the Soviet delegate, who said Israel was engaged in stepping up a campaign of slander against the Soviet Union to mar the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Revolution. He said that charges of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union were “nonsense and designed to distort the true picture” and asserted that Israel had never before directly named the Soviet Union in statements before the U.N.

The Soviet spokesman asserted that “there is no discrimination against Jews in the Soviet Union.” He said “the fact that there are less synagogues today proves that there is a decline in religion in the Soviet Union.” He asserted that there was no “Jewish problem” in the Soviet Union and that accusations to that effect were “sheer inventions. Our Jewish citizens are happy people,” he declared.

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