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American Jewish Intellectuals Reject Moscow Criticism

June 22, 1965
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Four American Jewish intellectuals Joined today in rejecting the criticism by two leading Soviet Jewish scientists against the June 3 Madison Square Garden rally on behalf of Soviet Jewry.

The four were novelist Saul Bellow, Richard Hofstadter, Professor of American History at Columbia University, Dr. Eugene Rabinowitch, editor of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and Meyer Schapiro, Professor of Art History at Columbia University.

They declared, in a letter to the New York Times today, that they had been “saddened” that such distinguished men as Professors Lev Landau and Yevscei Liberman “found it necessary to put their names to a letter about the situation of Soviet Jewry” which was printed in the Times on June 2. That letter called the Madison Square Garden rally “provocative” and filled with “all kinds of fabrications” about the problem and urged Americans to focus instead “on racism and anti-Semitism” in the United States.

The four intellectuals said that the rally had been held because “discrimination against Jews has not disappeared” and because “Soviet authorities are pursuing a policy aimed at the forcible assimilation of Soviet Jewry. This policy is carried out by the deprivation of cultural and religious rights which all other similar groups enjoy and without which the survival of the Jewish community” in Russia “is impossible.”

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