Pro-defense Group Mounts Drive Against Genocide Convention

A new offensive against ratification of the Genocide Convention was mounted here this week by the American Security Council which describes itself as ” A non-partisan group working for adequate defense of this country.” The Convention languished in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for ten years before being reported out favorably this year. It is scheduled for action some time during this session of Congress. The Convention makes it a crime subject to trial in international court, to “cause serious bodily or mental harm to members” of any national, ethical racial or religious group. The Convention was originally formulated in the aftermath of the Nazi holocaust. According to the American Security Council, the American government compromised on so many vital points that the Convention would be more trouble than it is worth.

According to the Council, the Americans, because of vehement Soviet objections, agreed to remove the word ” political ” from the definition of genocide, exempting acts which can be justified on political grounds. The Council also charged that the U.S. allowed the words ” with the complicity of the government ” expunged to satisfy Soviet objections. Other Council objections to the Convention are that it allows individuals to sue individuals, that harm to one person can constitute genocide and that the Convention allegedly would supercede the American Bill of Rights and the Constitution without giving a person charged under the Convention adequate protection of his civil rights. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned that Capitol Hill sources expect the Convention to be passed despite the American Security Council drive.

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