WASHINGTON (Apr. 15)
The Soviet Embassy disclosed here today that arrangements have been completed by USSR propaganda authorities for a visit to the United States of a “Jewish religious delegation” designated by the Soviet Government in cooperation with the American Council for Judaism.” The Council is an anti-Zionist organization. A Soviet diplomat stated that an invitation by the Council had been arranged and that it conforms with the policies and objectives of his government. When told that many American Jews regard the Council for Judaism negatively, the Russian official said his government made a distinction between “anti-Zionism” and “anti-Semitism.” He indicated that Moscow was fully aware of the anti-Israel policies of the Council and found this compatible with the USSR’s propaganda aims.
The Council for Judaism, a small, highly-vocal group, opposed the creation of an independent Israel and propagandized for many years against what it terms “Jewish nationalism.” Following the Six-Day War, the ACJ sought to deny charges of anti-Jewish tendencies in Eastern Europe. It was apparent that the Kremlin, stung by the criticism generated by its one-sided anti-Israel stand and increased anti-Jewish policies within the USSR, has decided to send a “Potemkin Village mission” to America, Soviet authorities hope that Council for Judaism sponsorship may confuse the public and appeal to the “New Left” The names of its members of the delegation were not disclosed by the Soviet Embassy, but it was stated that one rabbi would be included.
The delegation will arrive in May. Propaganda forums have been arranged by the Council for Judaism in cooperation with the Embassy. Each member of the delegation is to be carefully hand-picked by Soviet propaganda experts and the secret police before passports are issued. It is expected, of course, that the delegation will seek to depict the USSR as a paradise for its Jewish citizens.