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August 18, 1961 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1961-08-18

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Purely Commentary


'Too Bad Tourists Don't Bring Prayer Books'

American Jewish Committee Appeals
to Non-Jews to Demand that State Dept.
Abandon Submission to Arab Boycott

NEW YORK (JTA) — The community under what conditions ican passports must receive
Maurice Hindus, in his revealing new book on Russia, "House American Jewish •Committee and with whom commerce and equal hospitality wherever they
Without a Roof," published by Doubleday, tells this story:
came out with a strong appeal to trade may be conducted in for- may travel.
"One afternoon in Moscow, as I turned the corner from my
2. Ships flying the Stars and
various non-Jewish groups in this eign countries.
hotel, I was approached by a little man with a shriveled face country urging them to demand
"Veterans organizations can Stripes must enjoy freedom of
and a shapeless cap low over his forehead.
from the State Department to demand that the Armed Forces navigations in whatever inter-
" Are you an American?' he asked.
national waterway they may
abandon its submissive attitude terminate their accommodation
" 'Yes.'
choose to sail.
toward the Arab boycott against to Arab discrimination against
" 'Jewish?'
3. Armed Forces personnel,
American Jews and American American servicemen and hence-
" 'Yes.'
firms trading with Israel.
forth refuse to make religious whether military or civilian,
" 'Maybe you have a cidur (prayer book)?'
"Public opinion can demand distinctions in the assignment of must be assigned to overseas
" 'I thought,' I said, "new prayer books were published here.'
U.S. foreign policy be extri- military and civilian personnel service, wherever such service
"Ekh!' he answered with a wave of his hand, 'we haven't
from :ehe quicksands of to Unted States establishments is required, without regard for
enough of anything—prayer books, prayer shawls, phylacteries.
discriminatory religious criteria
concession to bluster and af- anywhere in the world.
Don't you believe anybody who tells' you our religion is re-
front, and restored to the rock
"All citizen groups can urge invoked by foreign govern-
" 'I told him I had met Baptist clergymen and Orthodox of self-respect," the appeal said. that Congress re-examine its for- ments in defiance of American
priests and they didn't complain of lacking indispensable reli- The AJC call followed a protest eign aid policy, with particular law.
4. American citizens a n d
submitted by the organization reference to expenditures for
gious accessories.
" 'Yes,' the little man answered. 'For Christians there is last month to Secretary of State grants and loans to those Arab American - owned companies
Dean Rusk charging the U.S. League nations which discrimi- must be free to pursue their
always enough paper, enough of - everything. But we Jews are
in goluth (exile) here. Maybe you know an American Jew in Government with "accommodat- nate among American citizens legitimate commercial and in-
ing" itself to the Arab discrimi- and boycott American business dustrial interests anywhere in
Moscow who has a prayer book? I need it so badly.'
the world without arbitrary in-
nations against American citi- and industry."
" 'I'm sorry,' I said. 'I cannot help you.'
The American Jewish Commit- terference and restraint.
"Dejectedly he wagged his head and said, 'It's too bad zens.
5. Countries seeking to
Citing a State Department tee then goes on to stress that
Jewish tourists from America don't bring prayer books. Good-bye.'
declaration that the Depart- "all groups can call upon our maintain friendly relations
He turned the corner and walked away.. -
"Well may the religious Jew speak of himself as being in ment "gives full consideration Government to suit its action to with the United States must
be guided by these require-
goluth—the first time . I ever heard a Soviet Jew use the term— to all communications from its word" and to insist that:
1. Citizens carrying Amer-
when the tattered old religious accessories, mostly inherited. from private American groups with
Czarist times, are falling to pieces. The 5,000 prayer books newly respect to problems affecting
■ ■ ■
published in 1956, re-edited to conform to Kremlin power poli- the conduct of United States
foreign relations," the Amer-
tics, do not begin to meet the demand . . ."
Boris Smolar's
This . is part of the tragedy depicted by Hindus in his ican Jewish Committee empha- i
stirring expose of conditions in Russia. Yet, the recent draft sized in its appeal that "this
program of the Soviet Communist party, to be presented at the hospitality to the views of pri-
22nd Congress in October, contains these holier-than-thou accu-
vate citizen groups" gives the
sations of racial discrimination and anti-Semitism and charges
opportunity to leaders of such
of clericalism against the Western nations:
groups to address themselves
"Imperialist reaction makes extensive use of chauvinism to to those aspects of the Arab
(Copyright 1961,
incite nationalist conflicts, persecute entire nationalities and
boycott which are of particular
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)
national groups (anti-Semitism, racial discrimination against concern to their members.
Negroes and the peoples of the under-developed countries),
"Business, industrial and trade Diplomatic Developments
The Israel and Arab delegations at the United Nations
blunt the class consciousness of the working people and divert organizations," the appeal points
the proletariat and its allies from the class struggle.
out, "can urge that Government are preparing for a fierce battle over the Arab refugee problem
"Clericalism is acquiring ever greater importance in the departments and agencies, and at the United Nations General Assembly next month . . . Involved
political and ideological arsenal of imperialism. The clericals United States representatives in this fight also- will be the United States since President Ken-
do not confine themselves to using the Church and its ramified abroad, henceforth refuse to co- nedy has pledged an effort to solve the Arab refugee problem
machinery. They now have their own big political parties which operate with, or facilitate, those . . . A high level envoy will be sent within a week or so to
in many capitalist countries are in power. They set up their activities of Arab League nations Israel and the Arab countries to study the problem on the spot
own trade-union, youth, women's and other organizations and which interfere with freedom of in order to enable the UN Palestine Conciliation Commission
split the ranks of the working class and all working people. action on the part of Ameritan to make recommendations on it before Oct. 15, the deadline set
The monopolies lavishly subsidize clerical parties and organiza- companies in establishing, main- at the last session of the General Assembly when the Arabs
lions, which exploit the religious sentiments of the working taming and extending commer- succeeded in putting through a UN resolution to this effect .. .
The resolution requested the Palestine Conciliation Commission
people and their superstitions and prejudices."
cial relations abroad. Business
This is one of the ways of misleading the Russian people. and industrial firms can them- to report back by Oct. 15 on steps taken to implement the 1948
Hindus explains how even the intellectuals in Russia are unin- selves reject threats of boycott UN decision dealing with repatriation or compensation for the
Palestine refugees . . . The Conciliation Commission is now
formed about what is happening around them and in the world.
or blacklisting.
composed of the United States, France and Turkey, but Wash-
On the Berlin issue, he states:
"Labor unions, whiCh have a ington fears that the Arabs will insist at the forthcoming UN
"It was obvious that the educators, like other Russians one
Assembly on enlarging it by adding reprsentation from the
meets, knew nothing of the Berlin blockade, of the flight of
the boycott, can continue to ex-
more than three million East Germans - to West Germany, of press the views already voiced Soviet bloc . . . These fears also are entertained in Israel . .
The enlargement of the Commission may lead to increased com-
the results of the West Berlin elections in December 1958,
when the Social Unity (Communist) Party polled less than two by several spokesmen of the labor plications which the U.S. would like to avoid . . . President
per cent of the vote. They had no realization of the sharp con- movement, emphasizing the need Kennedy is sincerely interested in seeing the Arab refugee
trast of life in East and West Berlin, of the gay and crowded for immediate action to uphold problem settled, but would obviously not like to see Soviet
Kurfuerstendam and of the dreary emptiness of the Stalin Allee, the principles enunciated by the Russia brought into the picture, because of the record which
a contrast that strikes even the most casual tourist who takes State Department in its official Moscow has . in stirring up more and more trouble in the Middle
statement of May 6, 1960, to the East . . . Israel, too, knows that the bringing of the Soviet
the rigidly . regulated bus trip to East Berlin. They appeared
bloc into the Palestine Conciliation Commission can only spell
quite unaware of the danger that a free and prosperous west- President of the AFL-CIO.
"Religious, patriotic and civ- more difficulties because of Moscow's outspoken anti-Israel
ern sector holds for Kremlin policies and purposes, a danger
ic organizations can articulate attitude . . . However, the Arab countries, going hand-in-hand
pointed up by Khrushchev himself when he called West Berlin
their opposition to our Govern- with Russia at the UN on important issues, seem determined
'a thorn in the heart of Europe.' . . ."
And while there is anti-Semitism everywhere, Hindus ment's seeming toleration of to offer a new resolution at the forthcoming Assembly aimed
relates incidents that "speak for themselves," to show the fear Arab League activities which at securing Soviet representation in the Conciliation Commis-
infringe upon American sov- sion, requiring delicate strategy on the part of the U.S. to check
that is in the hearts of Jews in Russia, among them this:
"In Moscow I presented an American dacron necktie to a ereignty and invade the rights the move of the Arabs without provoking their antagonism . .
As to Israel, I learn that the Cabinet there has already decided
Russian schoolteacher. He examined it and pointed to the label of Ainerican citizens.
"The mass media can inter- on the directives to be given to the Israeli delegation at the UN
stamped '100% washable' and asked what it meant. I translated,
and he said jokingly, 'Wonderful! If I go broke I can get a pret to newspaper and magazine on the attitude to be taken to the refugee question. when the
fancy price for it. Nobody will doubt that the necktie is Ameri- readers, and radio and television matter comes up before the Assembly . . . The directives are in
audiences the nature and signifi- keeping with the policy followed by Israel in recent years.
can and washable.'
"When I presented a similar necktie to a Jewish school- cance of the Arab boycott, ex-
teacher in Moscow, he too wanted to know what the label said. posing it in its full light as an Facts and Rumors
There is no truth in the rumors that leaders of the Ameri-
'It's got to come out,' he said. 'Right away,' agreed his wife. arrogant effort to dictate to the
American business and industrial can Jewish Committee are "regretting" the understanding
She fetched a pair of scissors and snipped out the label.
reached recently between Israel Premier David Ben-Gurion and
"I told them what the Russian teacher had said, and the
Jacob Blaustein . . . This understanding was reached after Ben-
wife replied, 'There are a lot of things a Russian can do that
Israel Buys Largest _ Gurion was reported to have asserted that Jews throughout the
Jews no longer dare to do.'
world were obligated to emigrate to Israel and that they could
"'Why?' I asked.
not live a full life in the context of their Judaism outside of
"'If you'd been here in January 1953, you wouldn't have French-Built Ship
PARIS, (JTA)—The SS Mole- Israel . . . The American Jewish Committee objected to this
asked the question.' That was the month when Pravda un-
bridled its wrath against the Jewish 'murderer physicians . . . det, the largest ship for Israel view and Blaustein was invited by Ben-Gurion to come to Israel
recruited by the international (Jewish) bourgeois organiza- ever built in Franc e, was personally to discuss the issue . . . As a result, the Israel Pre-
tion JOINT, an affiliate of American intelligence,' to assassinate launched at Nantes in cere- mier gave a statement to the American Jewish Committee leader
Soviet military and civilian leaders. 'We don't even like to monies attended by high French clarifying the issue of relationship between Israel and Jews
Government officials and mem- outside of Israel . . . Ben-Gurion was criticized by leaders of
talk about it any more,' said the teacher.
" 'But the doctors' plot,' I said, 'has since been exposed - as bers of the Israel Ministry of various American Jewish groups for having clarified his views
Transport and Ministry of through a leader of the American Jewish Committee rather
a fake, and Pravda had to swallow its anti-Semitic words.'
than through other representative Jewish groups . .. The criti-
" 'But who knows what's going to happen in the future?' Commerce and Industry.
The French officials ex- cism was not aimed at the content of the statement—which
said the wife. 'Jews have to be careful.'
"The couple were in their early thirties, Soviet-born and pressed the hope that Israel was everywhere approved—but at the fact that it was addressed
Soviet-educated. Yet they were saying, 'Jews have to be careful.' would continue to place orders to Blaustein and not to leaders of other central Jewish bodies
The burden of Jewishness was weighing heavily upon them, for more vessels in France and . . . Although the criticism died down after the Israel Premier
had eaten itself so deeply into their minds that they wouldn't construction company officials declared that he would be glad to make statements replying
risk leaving a tiny white label inside a necktie lest it serve as gave assurances that French to questions of any Jewish personality, some are now spreading
incriminating evidence of their 'being in the service of Ameri- shipyards would do their utmost reports, that even the American Jewish Committee leaders "re-
can imperialism,' or some other form of disloyalty. The night- to meet Israel ship-building gret" the Ben-Gurion-Blaustein understanding . . . This, I learn,
mare of the Jewish doctors' plot still haunted them, so they needs. Earlier this week, Israel is completely false .. . No such "regret" exists . . . On the con-
placed orders for two large trary, all leaders of the American Jewish Committee consider
played it safe."
Yet, the Russian Communist chiefs still speak of '1m- ocean-going vessels and took an that the understanding embodies basic principles long held by
option for a third - with the the Committee . . They are convinced that as a result the
perialist reaction" and "clericalism.' "
Thus, the East-West conflict continues along paths of in- Chantiers de la Mediterranee good-will toward Israel among American Jews will definitely be
creditability to the Western mind.








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