GENEVA (Dec. 12)
A United Nations seminar on religious tolerance was used as the platform for an unprecedented attack on Jews and Judaism by the Saudi Arabian delegate who said at one point that Hitler must have had good reasons to want to exterminate the Jews.
The 40-minute diatribe by Dr. Maaruf Al-Mawalibi, was allowed to continue uninterrupted. The President of the Seminar, Adam Lopatka of Poland, did not react to it and refused a request by the Israeli delegate, Hebrew University Prof. Eliezer Ravitzki, that the seminar dissociate itself from the attack.
Apart from Israel, only the United States and Costa Rica, among the 26 nations participating, spoke out against the Saudi’s remarks. But many of the delegates privately expressed shock after the session.
Al-Mawalibi’s premise was that the Jews should not wonder why they were persecuted for centuries because there must have been good reasons. He claimed it was prescribed in the Talmud that a Jewish doctor was allowed to treat non-Jews only for experimental purposes.
In addition to the U.S., Israel, Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia, the seminar was attended by deletgates from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Finland, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Senegal, Thailand, Togo, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.