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Conference on Soviet Jewry Approves Actions to Fight Soviet Anti-semitism

April 9, 1968
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A 32-page white paper documenting the case of Soviet oppression against its Jewish citizens was adopted at the close of a two-day biennial meeting of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry here today, A delegation of the presidents of the 25 participating national Jewish organizations brought the document to the Soviet Mission to the United Nations for delivery to Ambassador Yakov Malik, chief of the Russian U.N. delegation. The closing sessions of the meeting were addressed by Sen. Jacob K. Javits, New York Republican; Morris B. Abram, president of the American Jewish Committee, one of the participating organizations, and U.S. representative on the U.N. Human Rights Commission, and Mrs. Mortimer Jacobson, president of Hadassah, the women’s Zionist Organization of America. The conference adopted a massive program for national and local action for Soviet Jewry.

Sen, Javits, who spoke at this morning’s session, declared that "a chill blast of anti-Semitism" had come from the authorities in the USSR and Poland in response to "the winds of dissent coursing through Communist Eastern Europe." He said that while American Jews could not provide a refuge for Soviet Jewry or send teachers or rabbis to them, "what we can do is to raise our voices in protest and urge our government, and other free peoples and their governments to protest both inside and outside the United Nations."

Mr. Abram, who addressed the 350 delegates at the final session, eulogized the slain civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Martin Luther King’s eloquent cry against Soviet anti-Semitism was stilled at Memphis as surely as his persistent demands for the elimination of discrimination, poverty and injustice in the United States," he declared. Mr. Abram referred to passages of an address Dr. King had made to the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry on a previous occasion. It was replayed at last night’s session which was a memorial to Dr. King.

Mrs. Jacobson summarized the white paper on Soviet repression, noting that it documented the "unrestricted propaganda attack against Israel, Zionism and Jews throughout the world" which was launched by the Kremlin following last June’s Middle East war. "Soviet anti-religious propaganda has characteristically resorted to using ancient, anti-Semitic social stereotypes and has called into question the loyalty of Soviet Jews," according to the document. It charged that most of this activity has been generated by reactionary "neo-Stalinists," concentrated in the Secret Police (KGB), with powerful allies in the government hierarchy, the party apparatus, the Young Communist League and the armed forces leadership.

(A special outdoor seder for Soviet Jewry will be held Wednesday evening around a decorated seder table set up near the Soviet Mission to the United Nations as a protest against the continued disabilities suffered by the Jews in the Soviet Union. The ceremony is being arranged by the New York Jewish Community Relations Council’s Coordinating Committee for Soviet Jewry.)

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