U.N. Body Unanimously Urges Worldwide Fight Against Anti-semitism
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U.N. Body Unanimously Urges Worldwide Fight Against Anti-semitism

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Governments of countries which are members of the United Nations were urged today to fight bigotry by “continuing, and if necessary, accentuating their educational efforts designed to eliminate all discrimination based on religion or belief.” A resolution to this effect was adopted unanimously by the 14-member UN Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. The resolution was proposed by the United States, jointly with Britain, France, Austria, Uruguay and Finland.

The resolution requested the UN Secretary General “to print and give wide circulation to a study on discrimination in the matter of religious rights and practices” in 86 countries prepared by the Subcommission. The Secretary General was also requested to publish a brief popular summary of the study, “so that the summary may be used widely throughout the world, particularly in universities, schools and other educational institutions to combat such discrimination.”

Another resolution–expressing condemnation of anti-Semitic manifestations–will be voted upon tomorrow, following the completion of the debate on the draft resolution containing this proposal. Judge Philip Halpern of the United States, who introduced the draft resolution, urged the Subcommission to adopt the draft unanimously.

Declaring that “we are all alarmed by the recent manifestations of anti-Semitism,” Judge Halpern said that according to the latest count such manifestations had occurred in recent weeks in 34 countries and involved some 500 incidents. The joint resolution, he pointed out, would have the Subcommission condemn these manifestations as violations of the principles of the UN Charter and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In addition, Judge Halpern said, the resolution would request the Commission on Human Rights, which represented 18 nations, to add its voice of condemnation. Moreover, the machinery of the United Nations would be invoked in the most expeditious manner” to gather, at the earliest possible time, information from states, nongovernmental organizations, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on four subjects: The occurrences of manifestations of anti-Semitism, the public reaction to these manifestations, the measures taken by the public authorities, and views as to the deep-lying causes of such manifestations.

Judge Halpern explained that the joint proposal provided for a novel procedure. The Subcommission, he said, would “continue at work on a 12-month basis,” thereby serving notice on the world that the United Nations would be in a position to take immediate action if necessary.

Mrs. Z. M. Mironova of the USSR, expressed her concern over the recent events which, she felt, could be attributed to causes more far-reaching than religious prejudice. “The wave of anti-Semitic and fascist manifestations shows quite clearly that neo-fascist elements are openly reorganizing in a way reminiscent of the atmosphere in the 1930’s,” she said. She believed that “a well-planned campaign” undertaken by “fascist groups” was now being witnessed. Today the manifestations were directed against Jews, she said, but tomorrow they would be directed against Slavs or any other people who were considered as interior by the Nazis. Mrs. Mironova said that she completely agreed with the objectives of the proposal explained by Judge Halpern and that it should be unanimously adopted.


The Federal Republic of Germany–which is not a member of the United Nations but maintains an ambassador here as a permanent observer–today sent a letter to Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold strongly condemning the recent outbreaks of anti-Semitism in West Germany and approving the UN resolution denouncing “the recent occurrences of religious discriminations.”

“The German people,” the letter emphasized, “as well as the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, are filled with indignation and horror by the recent manifestations of religious and so-called racial prejudices in my country and in other parts of the world.” The letter was signed by Dr. Warner Dankurt, the West German Permanent Ambassador here.

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