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Jurists Report on Anti-semitism in Russia Draws Worldwide Attention


Worldwide reverberations were noted here today as result of the severe criticisms against the Soviet Union’s anti- Jewish persecutions in the report issued here yesterday by the International Commission of Jurists. The fact that the Commission, a body recognized by the United Nations, represents 45,000 judges and attorneys from virtually every country in the non-Communist world, and the fact that the 27 members of the Commission are among the most prominent members of bench and bar in the free world, lent weight to the report. It condemned anti-Semitism in general and, specifically, pinned on leaders of the Soviet Government the responsibility for anti-Jewish policies and actions.

In its report, the Commission declared that the Soviet Government blames Jews for the USSR’s “moral malaise” because it is protecting the names of Soviet Communist Party officials and leading members who are involved in economic crimes. “It is a tragedy,” the report declared, “for the Soviet Jewish people that they have been made the scapegoat for the transgressions of those whose guilt it would be dangerous to make public. These unpalatable facts explain the severity of the Soviet laws on economic crimes, even to the extent of reversing a highly-publicized trend in the USSR’s new penal policy.”

The fact that, among the 27 members of the Commission, one represents an Arab state while two are very prominent African Jurists, drew special attention here, giving further significance to the report. The Arab member is Lebanon’s Deputy Prime Minister, Philip N. Boulos, former Minister of Justice in the Beirut Government. The Africans are Sir Alexander Ademola, chief justice of Nigeria; and Isaac Foster, president of the Supreme Court of Senegal.

Heading the Commission now as president is Vivian Bose, former judge on the Supreme Court of India. One of the past presidents was Sir Leslie Munro, of New Zealand, former president of the United Nations General Assembly. Other members are: United States District Judge Dudley B. Bonsal, of the Southern District of New York, former president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; Sir Owen Dixon, chief Justice of Australia; Justice Oswaldo Illenas Benitez, of the Chilean Supreme Court; Lord Shawcross, former Attorney General of England; and Parshottam Trikamadas, senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India, and former secretary to the late Mahatma Gandhi.


The report, issued in English, French and Spanish, is now being studied by jurists and attorneys throughout the world and is expected to result in many condemnations of the Soviet policy against the Jews in the USSR. “It is a simple matter to link the picture of the money-grabbing Jew of anti-Semitic fancy with the picture of the arch-villains of capitalistic society” the report stated. “This has certainly been done by the Soviet press, but the most that can safely be said is that the picture painted of the moral malaise in the Soviet Union diverts attention toward Jews because the primary objective of the Soviet policy is to find scapegoats.

“The real truth is a veritable cancer in the vitals of ideology – capitalistic corruption even within the party and in local economic administration and a spectacle of large fortunes made quickly,” the report pointed out. It stressed that Soviet Jews “are victims of the highest interests of state, the need to bolster belief that the Communist way is the right way and the successful way, and that capitalism is both evil and less successful.”

A more charitable view, the report said, is that latent anti-Semitism “is possibly being used by the Soviet authorities as a weapon to render unpopular economic offenses which appear to be rampant.” The commission noted that Soviet newspaper reports of trials only “give the picture which the authorities wish to convey for the purpose of mobilizing the people against economic crimes.”

“A thoroughly disproportionate emphasis is placed on the fact that some defendants are Jewish,” the Commission’s report said. Soviet press propaganda tries to create the impression that Jews are anti-social, the report emphasized. “The Jews are portrayed as people ‘whose only God is gold,'” it said. “Over and over again, the Jews are depicted as the initiators and masterminds of the criminal gangs.”

The commission concluded that “anti-Semitism represents the most dangerous form of racialism in the world.” It said “no question of expediency can ever justify its use as a political, social or economic weapon.”

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