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Jewish Organizations Ask U.N. to Deny Freedom of Press to Anti-semitic Publications

January 22, 1948
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The U.N. Sub-Commission on Freedom of Information and of the Press today heard a proposal to deny press freedom to publications which spread or Incite racial and religious prejudice. The proposal was made Dr. Maurice Halperin, secretary of the Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations, which is composed of the American Jewish Conference, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies.

The Coordinating Board had previously proposed that this restriction be included as an amendment in the draft Declaration on Human Rights. The Human Rights Commission referred the suggested amendment to the U.N. Sub-Commission on Press freedom, now meeting at Late Success.

In his statement before the Sub-Commission, Dr. Halperin pointed cut that article 17 of the proposed Declaration on Human Rights restricts the right to make public secret information involving national security, incitement to the violent overthrow of governments and dissemination of obscene material. “It is our belief that the necessity and desirability of discouraging and preventing the dissemination racial or religious hatred are at least as great as the prevention of dissemination of obscenity, “Dr. Halperin said.

“History has proved – in the case of anti-Semitism, or the persecution of Protestants by Catholics, Catholics by Protestants, Moslems by Hindus and Hindus by Moslems, people of one color by people of another color – that the existence of facial and religious prejudice has always represented a constant threat not only to woman rights but to human lives,” Dr. Halperin continued. Freedom of expression which does not exclude the perversion of this freedom for purposes unmistakably contrary to the Charter of the United Nations cannot serve the goal for which the United Nations has been created.

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