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Mass Arrests of Jews in Moscow; Israel to Raise Issue at U.n

January 16, 1953
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Reports reaching here today from various European sources indicate that Soviet authorities had begun mass arrests of Jews who ever had any contact with the outside world. Jews in Moscow, the reports state, suspected of having had contact with people abroad in the past were being rounded up and taken into custody. It is believed that they may be exiled to Siberia.

The Israel Foreign Office today confirmed that Israel will raise the question of treatment of Jews behind the Iron Curtain when the General Assembly of the United Nations resumes its session next month. An indication to this effect was given yesterday in New York by Israel Ambassador Abba Eban, head of the Israel delegation to the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Army authorities here ordered the halting of the distribution among the Israeli armed forces of the Kol Haam, a newspaper published by the Communist Party in Israel, while tension mounted in this city and bitterness against the Soviet Union and the Communists rose on all sides. The streets of Tel Aviv were placarded today with posters signed by the Anti-Communist League calling for the arrest of all Communist leaders in Israel.


The Histadrut, Israel’s Federation of Labor, moved today to secure the expulsion of all Communists from the labor federation and its associated bodies. The move was introduced by Mordecai Namir, secretary-general of the federation, who was at one time Israel’s Ambassador to Moscow. He denounced the Moscow blood libel as defamation and desecration of the Socialist movement.

Reviewing the latest Soviet anti-Jewish move – the arrest of Jewish doctors on assassination and conspiracy charges- Mr. Namir told the meeting of the Histadrut executive that “we are facing a tragic repetition of the history of medieval times.” He declared that the Jews behind the Iron Curtain were being made the scapegoat for all the difficulties, hardships and intrigues there. When the lone Communist member of the executive body rose to speak and defend the Soviet Union’s action, all the other members of the council demonstratively left the table and resumed their places only when he sat down.

The Histadrut executive proclaimed that “the Communists, through their organs and in addresses in the Knesset and other places, have proven themselves enemies of the nation working for foreign interests and endangering the existence of the State.”

By a vote of 27 to one (a Communist), and with eight members of the left-wing Mapam Party abstaining, the executive instructed the Histadruth steering committee to act urgently on the expulsion of Communists from the federation and its affiliates.

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