NEW YORK (Apr. 8)
Prof. Rene Cassin, the Nobel Laureate, expressed confidence today in the ability of the State of Israel and its Sephardic community to solve their problems through mutual respect of different traditions. Addressing a Yeshiva University Sephardic Heritage Convocation, the 87-year-old French jurist and humanitarian called for unity among all Jews in face of a possible “return of discrimination and slaughter.” Yeshiva University awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Dr. Cassin, former chairman of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, who won the 1968 Nobel Peace Prize.
Prof. Cassin referred to the “very great number of Jews coming from Moslem countries and Mediterranean shores to Israel.” He said “The Sephardic world which has been lately moved to leave the Moslem countries still living in the past was suddenly transferred into a modern world where, momentarily, it may have forgotten to get informed with the traditional particularities of the modern surroundings. It thus found itself placed at a lower level, especially in Israel, because it was not fully prepared…for its new life, and also found a totally different government and administration composed of people of different origins.”
Dr. Cassin said “This difficult period of transition has nothing to do with voluntary injustices, still less with masked persecutions. But it is necessary that this situation comes soon to an end.”
Dr. Cassin addressed a luncheon meeting last Thursday of the American Friends of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, the French organization of which he is president. He said that “when conditions of peace with justice prevail, mankind will be able to profit fully from the ancient and modern contributions of Judaism to the moral and cultural progress of the world.” The Alliance, founded 113 years ago, maintains all-day schools in Israel and in other countries of the Middle East and North Africa.