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Jesuit Journal Urges World Protest on Soviet Anti-semitism

February 12, 1965
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A call for “a united world protest” against Soviet anti-Semitism was issued here today by America, an influential Catholic, Jesuit weekly. Such a protest, stated America editorially, “is the best means to stay the hand of the would-be invader of human rights.”

The America editorial, to be published Saturday, was entitled “Plight of the Soviet Jews,” and noted that a plaque protesting against Soviet anti-Semitism was unveiled recently in front of the synagogue of Congregation Zichron Ephraim, across the street from the building in this city which houses the United Nations missions from the Soviet Union, Byelorussia and Ukrainia. “It is a matter of semantics,” declared America, “whether Soviet administrative policy toward its Jewish citizens is to be labeled ‘persecution’ or ‘discrimination.’ The portents are grim enough.”

America recapitulated the various facts known about the tragic situation of Russian Jewry, and declared: “Catholics have had in the past decades ample reason to know what persecution means and, by the same token, to appreciate the helping hand of a friend. The plight of the Jews in the Soviet Union should and does concern Catholics and not Jews only. Human liberty is indivisible.”

The New York Herald Tribune, in an article today by columnist Dick Schaap quoted the press officer for the Soviet delegation to the United Nations, Mikhail Antipov, as saying that the plaque facing his mission’s headquarters, on the front of Congregation Zichron Ephraim, is “violent” and “insulting.” Mr. Antipov stated: “We have no problem with the Jewish people in the Soviet Union, no problem at all.”

(A dispatch received in London today from Moscow reported that several Moscow rabbis have issued a statement declaring that there would be more than enough matzoh for Russian Jews this Passover. The rabbis were quoted as saying that no matzoh shipments would be needed by Soviet Jews this year, and declared that American rabbis who thought otherwise had been “profoundly misled.”

(Informed sources in New York pointed out that the Soviet authorities, stung by worldwide criticisms against their anti-Semitic policies, are forcing the rabbis to issue such statements.)

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