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Tekoah Hits Rise of Anti-semitism in USSR

January 17, 1973
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

In a sharply worded letter to United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, Yosef Tekoah, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, yesterday deplored the rise of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, the plight of Soviet Jewry, and the abuse of United Nations organs and facilities by certain member states “as mere instruments of their self-centered policies and propaganda.”

Tekoah was responding to a letter written Jan. 3 to Waldheim by Soviet Ambassador to the UN, Yakov Malik, protesting against Tekoah’s use of UN channels to bring up the question of Soviet Jewry.

“The Soviet government is responsible for Soviet Jewry’s sad plight which has become a matter of common knowledge and general concern,” Tekoah wrote. “The Soviet government is aware of the fact that questions of human rights and in particular of racial and religious discrimination, and of repression of minorities have always been the subject of United Nations consideration and action. The fundamental human rights of Soviet Jews…cannot and will not be an exception.”

Tekoah cited “The Promised Land,” a novel by Yuri Kolesnikov, as “a shocking example” of the “controlled campaign of anti-Semitism pursued in mass media of information in the Soviet Union.” He said the book vilifies Jewish culture and faith and the Zionist movement.

“Only the darkest and most primitive anti-Semitism,” Tekoah wrote, would be capable of assertions such as the novel’s that collusion between Jews and their tormentors resulted in the annihilation of six million Jews by the Nazis. (A description of the novel appeared in the Daily News Bulletin Jan. 4.)

Tekoah advised Malik to draw his government’s attention “to the shock and revulsion generated” by its anti-Jewish policies and actions in disregard of the UN charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Soviet constitution.

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