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Communist Leader Accuses Soviet Authorities of Fostering Anti-semitism

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Sen. Umberto Terrazini, a leading Italian Communist, has accused the Soviet authorities of deliberately fostering anti-Semitism. While the Soviet population “did not always go out of its way to oppose anti-Semitist and expose it for what it is, it is the authorities who are responsible for the publication of anti-Semitic literature in ever growing volume,” Terrazini said in an interview with the newspaper La Stampa published today.

He said “This explains the reason why so many Jews want to leave the Soviet Union to go to Israel and other countries where anti-Semitism is not prevalent.” Terrazini observed that anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union could be traced back to the earliest days of the Czars, but was cyclic in its manifestations. He noted that it receded directly after the Bolshevik Revolution but reached a fever pitch in the late twenties and thirties during Stalin’s purge of the Left opposition which included Jews such as Trotsky, Radek and Zinoviev.

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“At the end of the Stalin era it receded again, and we assumed for good. But to our great disappointment, it is again on the increase,” Terrazini said. “The Israeli victory in the Six-Day War created a new wave of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union. Both the fools and the knaves, the former unknowingly and the latter knowingly, proclaim anti-Semitism in the guise of anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism.”

Terrazini cited as an example of official anti-Semitism a pamphlet issued recently by Novosti, the Soviet external press agency, “in which a confused array of out-of-context quotations is offered an a justification of hatred of the Jews.” The pamphlet has been translated into many languages including an Italian version which Terrazini showed the La Stampa interviewer. (The Jewish Telegraphic Agency described the English version of the Novosti pamphlet last week in which the JTA is accused of being the “most active propagandist of Zionism” and the chief “mouthpiece of the World Zionist Organization”.)

Terrazini denied that the Italian Communist Party was affected by anti-Semitism although he conceded that it holds strongly anti-Israel views. He said he did not agree with his party’s view that “Israel was a tool in the hands of colonial empires while the Arabs were paragons of progress and socialism.” He condemned Arab terrorism and said that the views expressed by fanatics in the Italian Communist Party were not necessarily held by all the members.

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