Prominent Panamanians Condemn Soviet Discrimination Against Jews

Fifteen of Panama’s most prominent intellectuals and political personalities, including two ex-Presidents of the Republic, have signed a declaration condemning the treatment of Jews by the Soviet Union and by “some countries of Eastern Europe.” The declaration stated, “We must declare our solidarity with the Jewish population in the territories of the Soviet Union and of some countries of Eastern Europe, as well as our repudiation of the conditions of spiritual and moral violence to which these people are systematically subjected.” Noting that the Jews are hindered from practicing their religion, from emigrating to Israel, and confronted with countless manifestations of hostility on the part of the public authorities, the declaration warned they may well fall victim to the intention to destroy the existence of their historical, moral and cultural personality. The declaration added, “We join our voice to those raised throughout the American continent to demand the elimination of the discriminatory measures, overt and covert…threatening the Jewish community in the Soviet Union and in other European countries…”

The signatories included Panamanian ex-Presidents, Ricardo J. Alfaro and Ernesto de la Guardia, Jr.; the President of the University of Panama; the Dean of its Law School; former members of Parliament; former members of the Supreme Court; educators; jurists; professors; writers; former ministers of foreign affairs, finance, housing and education; lawyers; linguists; and poets. The declaration was transmitted to the World Jewish Congress in New York by the Central Jewish Community Council of Panama, an affiliate of the Congress. On August 12, the Jewish Community of Panama will hold a public demonstration in support of Jewish rights in the Soviet Union. The Jewish community of Panama totals approximately 2000 persons and its central representative body to the Central Jewish Community Council of Panama. Ninety percent of all Jewish children receive a Jewish education at the Albert Einstein Institute, a Jewish school located in the capital.

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