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Jlc Asks Nixon to Repudiate State Department Views on Soviet Jewry

The Jewish Labor Committee called today on President Nixon to repudiate the State Department’s “attempt to minimize anti-Jewish repression in the Soviet Union.” Judge Jacob T. Zukerman, president of the JLC, called the statement made on Tuesday by Richard T. Davies, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee headed by Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal (D.,N.Y.). “a shocking distortion of the oppressive conditions under which Jews live in the Soviet Union.” Davies testified that the picture of the Jewish community living in a state of terror seemed “overdrawn.”

Zukerman noted that, “the Soviet policy of repression is not restricted to the issue of emigration but is aimed at stifling the desire of Jews who wish to assert their identity as Jews.” Zukerman also labeled as a “travesty of the true state of affairs” Davies’ assertion that Russian Jews are receiving such “back-handed benefits” as the publication of some material in Yiddish and the availability of matzoh for Passover because of Soviet sensitivity to charges of anti-Semitism. These Soviet actions, Zukerman said, are mere “tokenism.” The existence of a “handful of decaying synagogues and the publication of one Yiddish magazine represent a mockery of Jewish aspirations.” Zukerman stated.

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