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Chief Rabbi Chides Students for Attack on Jewish Community

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Rabbi Bernard M. Casper, Chief Rabbi of the Federation of Synagogues of South Africa, has reacted sharply here to an attack on South African Jewry by a group of Jewish students at Cape Town University in their Jewish campus newspaper, “Strike.” The journal blasts the attitude of South African Jews as “racist and un-Jewish,” because they do not take a communal attitude against apartheid. It includes the Board of Deputies, the Zionist Federation and the Rabbinate in its criticism, saying that Rabbi Casper’s reply to 23 Johannesburg Jewish university students who similarly criticized local Jewish leadership some months ago in an open letter to the Chief Rabbi evades the basic issue.

Interviewed by the press, Rabbi Casper expressed his abhorrence at Jews applying the word “racist” to their own community. He denied the students were Justified in their criticism, contending that on the whole Jews had been laudably motivated by their religious teachings and historical experience to help the underprivileged in South Africa where they could. He repeated the invitation he had extended when the Johannesburg students had attacked him–namely, that instead of engaging in mud-slinging at their own community, they should meet him and other Jewish leaders in a dialogue in which all could ventilate their views and examine the facts fairly.

The Jewish Cultural Community of Munich protested today against the world premiere of the film “Hitler–The Last Ten Davs” to be held in the bavarian capital tomorrow Hitler’s birthday. Dr. Hans Lam a president of the community, described the timing of the premiere as “provocative exploitation.” The film distributor said the timing was coincidental.

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