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Labor Zionist Leader Attacks Russia, Charges ‘betrayal’ of Revolution

June 30, 1961
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A resounding attack against the denial of full rights to the 3,000,000 Jews in the Soviet Union was delivered here by Yaakov Zerubavel, Israeli Labor Zionist leader and director of the Central Archives of the Jewish Labor Movement at Tel Aviv.

Mr. Zerubavel was the principal speaker at the opening session of the national convention of Ahdut Avodah Poale Zion here, attended by 250 delegates from every Jewish center in Argentina. Chaim Finkelstein, general secretary of the organization, also addressed the meeting as well as Israel’s Ambassador here, General Joseph Avidar.

Asserting that “we are not mixing into the internal affairs of the country, “Mr. Zerubavel told the gathering that “what happens to the Jews in the Soviet Union is not merely a Russian problem. It is a Jewish problem, and we cannot remain indifferent to the fate of our brethren in the USSR.”

“The Jews in the Soviet Union, ” he continued, “are being robbed of their fundamental human right of establishing contact with their families in other lands or, with other Jews abroad. Jews inside Russia and outside that country had greeted the Russian revolution enthusiastically–although we of the Poale Zion had never given up our Zionism. But many of us had hoped that the Bolshevik revolution would lead to a spiritual revival among our fellow-Jews in the Soviet Union. Instead, freedom has been betrayed there.

“Jews in the Soviet Union are forbidden to make contact with Jews elsewhere, especially with Israel. They are forbidden to emigrate. They are being robbed of all fundamental human rights. “

Both Mr. Finkelstein and Gen. Avidar, in their addresses to the convention, stressed the need for more Jewish and Hebrew education among the Jewish youth in this country.

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