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August 07, 1959 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1959-08-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

World Jewry Hopeful in Sweden,

By PHILIP SLOMOVITZ
STOCKHOLM, Sweden — A
new era of positive Judaism
is emerging in this Scandi-
navian capital. Representatives
of the Jewries of the world,
gathered here for a 12-day in-
ternational conference of the
World Jewish Congress, are
meeting here in a hopeful
mood, with a cheerful outlook
for the future, with a positive
approach to Jewish needs and
aspirations.
There is no longer that at-
titude of fright over untoward
occurrences. Jewish leaders
are not meeting to protest:
they are here to create, to re- SWEDISH PARLIMENT BUILDING WHERE SESSIONS ARE
solve issues in the best inter-
NOW TAKING PLACE IN STOCKHOLM

Observations
On Jewries in
Vienna, Oslo,
Copenhagen

*

ests of a people that aspires to
orbit. The absence of the
a good life among good neigh- Jews from behind the Iron
bors everywhere.
Curtain represents the only
All languages are spoken
tragic factor in this all-Jewish
here, but delegates and guests
gathering—the Fourth Plenary
get along best with Yiddish Assembly of the World Jew-
and English. It's a toss-up as
ish Congress.
to which is the most interna-
Even so. the Iron Curtain re-
tional Jewish tongue. But He-
strictions were considerably
brew is popular, and those who
broken by the arrival of a
know the sacred tongue liter-
delegate of three from Poland.
ally beam when they have There was to have been a
some one to converse with in
Hungarian delegation, but at
the language of the Bible and
the last moment it was with-
of Israel.
drawn. At this writing, the
It is the people who are of
Hungarian note of explanation
such great interest here.
has not arrived.
Nearly every Jewish commun-
The fact that newspaper-
ity in the world is represented
men from the entire world
—except those from the Soviet
Continued on Page 32

THE
JEWISH
NEWS
I

Commentary
Page 2

Vol. XXXV, No. 23

A Weekly Review

of Jewish Events

Michigan's Only English-Jewish Newspaper—Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle

Printed in a
100% Union Shop

The Mirage
of Birobidjan
in the USSR

Editorial
Page 4

17100 W. 7 Mile Rd.—VE 8-9364--Detroit 35, August 7, 1959 $5.00 Per Year; Single Copy 15c

Assail USSR Policies on Jews
at Opening of WJ Congress

Direct JTA Teletype Wire to The Jewish News

Israel Has the Potential to Show
Way in Solving Racial Problems

By PHILIP SLOMOVITZ
JERUSALEM — The name of this city is derived from two words—ir and
. shalom—meaning the City of Peace. Yet, there is no peace, either externally or
internally. A glimpse at the no-man's-land that separates the Old City from the
New, the Jordan-held territory that has nearly all the Holy Places from the Jew-
ish-built capital -of Israel, is sufficient 'reminder that only a truce, a shaky armis-
tice, accounts for the silenced guns.
People hope for peace. It may come—very soon. But life goes on with
reservations—with an allowance for the possible continuation of a state of
war for many years to come.
More serious is the internal war, the struggle between two contending
Israeli factions, the conflict between two ideologies, between the modern, West-
ernized Jews and their rather backward Eastern kinsmen.
It is the struggle between the Orientals and. the Westerners that has cre-
ated the major Israeli problems. This is a most difficult issue to discuss. Israel
labors to integrate all elements into a single whole. This is a remarkable nation,
with many faults that are common to all human beings, but with a major aspic-
ation to fuse the representatives of all Jewries into a single unified community.
It is a most difficult task when it is taken into consideration that - people from
more than 60 countries are congregated here.
_
Is it any wonder, therefore, that there is inequality, that the Western man
has better opportunities than the Oriental, that there are two classes of people?
There are tensions because there are differences of opinion and in ways of living.
There are feuds. That is why there were riots in Haifa and Beersheba.
It was feared also that there would be an outbreak of violence in Jerusalem.
It did not materialize. The chances are that it will not occur. And, in the reason
for the rioting, lies the explanation of it.
There is quite a difference between the Negro-White problem in the
U.S. and the Oriental vs. Western (Sefardim vs. Ashkenazim) in Israel. The
causes are the same—stemming from i n e q u a 1 i t y, from poorer conditions
among the Orientals, from a lower standard of living and less satisfactory
housing conditions among the latter. The approach to the problem, however,
is different. There is a greater spontaneity in facing it here. There is more
definite frankness.
In one of the high schools in Detroit, there were Negro-White tensions. But
the Negro leaders were hesitant in their handling of the issue. They may have
feared the "underworld." It was an "underworld" element among the Moroccans
and North Africans that caused . the trouble in Israel, that smashed a few shops
and resorted to violence for a few hours. The leaders of their communities were
quick to act. They called for order, condemned the rioters, demanded that their
people abide by the laws of the land. The government instituted an investigation,
and out of it must come an understanding of the differences; an appreciation of
the complaints; an attempt to create equality
equality of opportunity for all.
The "inequalities" must be recognized
a full understanding of the prob-
lem. Western Jews arrive in Israel with high standards—and retain them. Orien-
tal Jews come to the land with low standards, and while the highly Westernized
and modern Israel lifts them abOve their low gradations, their conditions cannot
match those of their more progressive kinsmen too quickly.
It is the army that is the great equalizer. It is during military training that
the youth of Israel are alike, all of them, without distinction as to color of skin
or social background. But when the army career ends. the Oriental goes into a fac-
tory, or works on the land, while the youth with the Western background has

(Continued on Pages 16 and 17)

STOCKHOLM—The Cold War between East and
West, particularly as it continues to seriously affect Jews
in countries behind the Iron Curtain, occupied the at-
tention of delegates attending the Fourth Plenary As-
sembly of the World Jewish Congress, which opened
here on Sunday.
In an attack on policies emanating from Moscow,
Dr. Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish
Congress, on Tuesday, sharply assailed the Soviet Union
for attempting "not only to extirpate Jewish institutional
and cultural life," but of striving also to wipe out "the
very sense of Jewishness among the 3,000,000 Jews"
under the Kremlin regime.
Approximately 300 delegates from more than 40
countries in the world heard Dr. Prinz declare that
the Jews in Soviet Russia "are isolated and defenseless.
The only hope for Soviet Jewry is that world-wide pub-
lic opinion may persuade Soviet authorities to abandon
their anti-Jewish policies and restore a minimum of
opportunities for the preservation of Jewish cultural
and religious identity."
There is "evidence at hand" of the Soviet Union's
official attitude toward the Jews under USSR jurisdic-
Lion, said Dr. Prinz. He summarized this evidence stating:
"Officially, the Jews of Russia are constituted as a
distinct nationality, and the identity card of Soviet Jews
describes their nationality as 'Jewish.' Yet, the Jewish
nationality group is the only one among those so recog-
nized which enjoys no such corporate existence.
"There are no Yiddish newspapers in the Soviet
Union, no Jewish publishing houses, no Yiddish theaters,
no Jewish cultural or communal institutions.
"This anti-Jewish bias goes beyond the anti-religi-
ous policies of the government. Even the secular Jew
has no means of preserving his folk culture.
"Soviet Jews are, likewise, barred from participat-
ing in international Jewish bodies, from subscribing and
receiving Jewish books and periodicals published abroad.
"The fufillment of this policy received its climatic
expression in 1948, when several hundred Jewish writers
were imprisoned, and a number were executed.
"Disabilities imposed against Jewish religious life are
even more severe and stringent than the examples cited.
"While Soviet authorities are encouraging tourists
to visit their country, my personally-collected informa-
tion shows that only one American Rabbi, who so desig-
nated himself on visa application, has been granted
authority to enter the Soviet Union."
It is up to the world, said Dr. Prinz, to rectify "this
appalling situation" and free Soviet Jewry from its
status as "victims of dual deprivation."
Earlier, a demand that all governments in all coun-
tries recognize the right of Jews to maintain their com-
munal life and institutions was voiced at the Assembly
in a report on the situation of Jews in various lands.
The report cited official efforts made by the WJ
Congress to contact Soviet Jewry. "We are unhappily

(Continued on Page 324

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