Wjc Executive Session Closes, Urges Change in Soviet Policies Toward Jews

A resolution deploring persecution of Jews by Soviet authorities arrests of Jews and anti-Semitic publications in the Soviet Union was approved today at the close of a week-long meeting here of the world executive of the World Jewish Congress.

The resolution included an expression of WJC president Dr. Nahum Goldmann’s frequently-stated controversial view that support should be provided for the rights of those Jews who choose to remain in Russia but it was pushed to the end of the resolution.

The resolution urged the Soviet government to allow Jews who wished to emigrate to Israel to do so immediately and without harassment. The WJC called on its affiliates to intensify their campaigns for Soviet Jewry. It noted with satisfaction that several thousand Russian Jews had been able to emigrate to Israel in recent years. It also noted that the special education exit tax had been suspended but added “this is only a first step in the long road to the redemption of Soviet Jewry.”

The executive also expressed “deep concern” over the “tragic conditions” in which the “remnant” of Iraqi Jews were living and called on the Iraqi government “to cease its barbaric policies and permit those Jews who wish to leave to do so without hindrance.” The resolution expressed concern over the “barbaric treatment” of the Jews in Syria which it called “reminiscent of the worst excesses of medieval anti-Semitism.”

CENTRALITY OF ISRAEL QUESTIONED

A lengthy discussion on the place of Israel in the struggle for Jewish survival included a statement by Dr. Joachim Prinz of Newark, N.J., chairman of the WJC governing council, that the slogan of the centrality of Israel in the struggle for Jewish survival had become “utterly meaningless.” He said that “to continue to speak of Israel as the very center of Jewish existence in the diaspora is sheer nonsense.” He criticized Israelis who look on Jews in other countries as “trembling in the face of certain extinction through anti-Semitism” and who, for that reas on, regard the diaspora as “a waiting hall for aliya.”

Dr. Prinz also denounced the Israeli leadership which he declared maintained contact mainly with organized pro-Israeli Jewish communities and which had no contact with the majority of Jews who were not members of Jewish organizations, who were interested only in their own lives and their problems and who took part in the life of the nations where they lived.

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