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Soviet Delegate Attacks U.S. in Geneva for Intervening for Jews

March 17, 1967
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The Soviet Union today sharply attacked — while Great Britain warmly supported — an American statement made here before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, calling upon all governments to cease persecuting the Jewish minority, extend cultural and religious freedoms to Jews, and permit them to emigrate for purposes of family reunification to Israel and other countries.

The address was delivered yesterday before the Commission by Charles H. Silver, former president of the New York City Board of Education, and a member of the United States delegation to the Commission, which is currently in session here.

While Mr. Silver did not name any country, the fact that his target was the Soviet Union was emphasized today by a rebuttal voiced by the USSR member on the Commission, Yakub A. Ostrovski. He told the Commission that the United States was not a Government to raise human rights issues at a time when it is engaged in “aggression” in Viet Nam and in the use of bombs in the Viet Nam war.

After Mr. Ostrovski’s comments, Sir Samuel Hoare, Britain’s chief delegate to the Commission, told the 32-member group; “I wish to associate my delegation with everything said by the delegation of the United States. It was a general statement, given in inoffensive terms. There are still countries where religious discriminations are practiced against minorities and, in particular, against the Jewish minority.”

In another development at the Commission session, today, the Polish delegate, Zbigniew Resich, proposed an amendment to a draft resolution on banning for all time any statutes of limitations concerning the prosecution of Nazi war criminals and persons who had committed crimes against humanity. In his amendment, the Polish representative sought the adoption of a statement that would call on the United Nations General Assembly to “recognize the pressing need for taking urgent measures to halt the activities of neo-Nazi organizations.”

Mr. Silver, on behalf of the United States, said his delegation would support the Polish resolution. The Ukrainian representative on the Commission also endorsed the Polish draft.

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