UNITED NATIONS (Nov. 24)
Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, charged that the Soviet Union, “is still fanning the flames of anti-Jewish hatred.”
In a sharply worded statement to the General Assembly Third Committee, (Social and Cultural Committee) the Israeli envoy said that the Soviets are encouraging anti-Semitism under the guise of “anti-Zionism.” He cited recent anti-Semitic books published in the USSR “under the cloak of an attack on Zionism.” One of these books is “Israel: The Reality Behind the Myths,” by the “well known anti-Semite, Lev Korneyev,” Blum said, claiming the Soviet authorities selected the book “for distribution (In English) in such places as the international airport at Moscow.”
Blum also charged that the more than two million Jews in the USSR are deprived of basic human rights. “Jewish culture (in the USSR) has been systematically suppressed, as has been Jewish religion, to the extent that there is no Hebrew or Yiddish theater in the country and only a few dozen synagogues remain open,” Blum said. He added: “Millions of copies of anti-Semitic books, pamphlets and magazines circulate under official Soviet auspices. The attacks come from all quarters.”
CITES CURTAILMENT OF EMIGRATION
The right of Jews to emigrate, Blum claimed, has been drastically curtailed over the last year by the Soviet authorities by severely restricting the eligibility of applicants. Only 18,000 Jews were allowed to leave the Soviet Union in the first nine months of 1980, Blum said, less than half the number leaving during the corresponding period in 1979.
Blum also cited in his statement the plight of Syrian and Iranian Jews. He said that the 4500 remaining Syrian Jews are deprived of their basic human rights. “They live as second class citizens,” Blum said. He appealed to the Syrian government “to respect their basic human rights” and allow them to emigrate. Blum also appealed to Iran to let its Jewish citizens emigrate “if they should so wish.”