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Blum Accuses USSR of Violating Basic Rights of Its Jewish Citizens

Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, accused the Soviet Union of violating the basic human rights of its Jewish citizens, harrassing those who wish to emigrate and of engaging in a “virulent anti-Semitic campaign.”

Addressing the General Assembly’s Third Committee last Friday, the Israeli envoy declared: “Israel will not rest until the Jews in the Soviet Union achieve their human and national rights–to live according to their faith, culture, language and national consciousness, and to be reunited with their brothers in Israel and with their families wherever they may be.”

“Above all,” Blum continued, “we will continue to press for the release of Jewish prisoners of conscience still languishing in deplorable conditions in Soviet prison camps and currently denied even the elemental visitation and correspondence rights guaranteed by Soviet penal codes.”

Charging that the Soviet Union launched its anti-Semitic campaign in 1967, which reached its “apex” in the last two years, Blum said the Soviet media “frequently engage in overt anti-Semitism, screening vicious anti-Jewish film on Russian television. It is a frightening and puzzling phenomenon that a state that suffered so terribly at the hands of the Nazi invaders is today the greatest purveyor or anti-Semitic incitement since the Nazis.”

The Israeli envoy said his country welcomed the recent increase in the number of exit visas issued by the Soviets. He added: “However, Israel strongly feels that the Soviet Union has not yet lived up to its official undertakings at the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in Aug. 1975, after which it was widely hoped that all Jews who aspired to be reunited with their brethren in their homeland would be able to do so without hindrance.”

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