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February 27, 1970 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1970-02-27

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

UN Secretariat Charged With Suppressing
Material on Russian Treatment of Jews

UNITED NATIONS (JTA) — Is-
rael accused the United Nations
secretariat, and by implication,
Secretary General U Thant, of
knuckling under to Soviet pressure
and suppressing material dealing
with the treatment of Jews in the
Soviet Union which Israel had
asked to be circulated to all mem-
bers of the United Nations as a
General Assembly document.
Ambassador Yosef Tekoah told
a crowded press conference here
that the Israeli request had been
made Jan. 30. Israel asked that
copies of an appeal by 25 Moscow
Jews for United Nations assistance
in securing the right to leave the
Soviet Union for resettlement in
Israel be circulated with the Is-
raeli letter on the treatment of
Jews in the Soviet Union.

On Feb. 11, Ambassador Tekoah
said, he was advised that the Is-
raeli letter would not be circulated
because it did not refer to a pend-
ing item on the agenda of the last
General Assembly or an item on
the provisional agenda of the forth-
coming General Assembly. But
Tekoah charged that the real rea-
son for the UN decision was pres-
sure from Ambassador Jacob
Malik, head of the Soviet delega-
tion to the UN. He called the UN
capitulation in "international scan-
dal."
The Israeli envoy termed the
episode "a further expression of

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the double standard to which Is-
rael has been subjected for years
in the United Nations" which, he
said, made it impossible for Is-
rael to obtain justice at the hands
of UN organs.
j The vehemence of the Soviet ef-
forts to suppress news of the
treatment of the 3,500,000 Jews
within the Soviet borders, he said,
was a testimony to the seriousness
of the situation of Soviet Jewry
and of the extent to which the
Jews there were acting to secure
the right to emigrate.
He said that the document he
had submitted to Secretary Gen-
eral U Thant on Jan. 27—an ap-
peal from 25 Jews resident in Mos-
cow—had become a petition being
signed by Jews in all parts of the
Soviet Union.
Information has subsequently
been received here, he said, of the
widespread distribution of this
petition in the Soviet Union and
copies have been received bearing
the signatures of Jews from Riga
in the former Latvian Republic
and from the Georgian Republic.
Tekoah parried' one reporter's
question as to whether be held
the secretary general directly
responsible for the suppression
of the documents, asserting that
this was a matter for individual
interpretation. In response to a
further question, he said that the
Israelis had received no informa-
tion that Thant was using his
"good offices" in behalf of So-
viet Jews as Israel had request-
ed of him.
Correspondents leaving the press
conference were informed that
there would be a UN briefing im-
mediately in the press room. Here,
the UN spokesman made available
the text of a letter from the head
of the UN legal section to Tekoah
explaining that without the rele-
vant General Assembly agenda
item, the Israeli letter and accom-
panying documents could not be
transmitted as a General Assem-
bly document.
The UN spokesman angrily dis-
puted Tekoah's assertion that he
had been informed by secretariat
officials that the formalistic rea-
sons for the refusal were "flimsy"
and challenged Tekoah to identify
the officials.
He said Israel could have secur-
ed distribution of the documents
in the form of an "aide memoire"
and indicated that the secretary
general was considering asking the
General Assembly for a ruling on
future cases.
The UN spokesman said that the
Soviet Union had objected to the
circulation of a similar letter and
documents last December but said
he had no information to bear out
Tekoah's charges that the Russians
had protested against the distribu-
tion of the latest Israeli letter.
He insisted that the secretariat
decision was in conformity with
UN precedent and legality and that
it was not the result of protest by
another state.
In London, a committee that
includes an Israeli cabinet minis-
ter and a member of the Knes-
set has been formed to conduct
a public campaign "for the re-
lease of Soviet Jews and their
natural rights to return to their
homeland."
Formation of the committee was
announced by the Zionist Revision.
ists, a militant Zionist group. Com-
mittee members include Chains
Landau of the Herut Party, a
minister - without - portfolio in the
Israeli government; Dr. Benjamin
Halevi, MK; Joseph Klarman, a
member of the Jewish Agency

Executive; and Dr. Joseph Schect-
man, an author and journalist.
The Jewish community of Japan
has expressed its deep concern
over the plight of their brethren,
the 18 Georgian Jewish families,
who have appealed to the UN
Commission on Human Rights for
assistance to leave the Soviet
Union to be reunited with their
families.
In a cable to the commission,
Rabbi Marvin Tokayer stated
"The Jewish community of Japan
joins with their co-religionists all
over the world in urging prompt
action by the relevant Soviet auth-
orities, an appeal to the UN com-
mission to do your utmost to help
these families fulfill their desire
and aspirations.
The Soviet ambassador to Brazil,
Sergei Mikhailov, refused to re-
ceive a local Jewish delegation
protesting the treatment of Jews
in Soviet Russia. The delegation,
representing the Confederation of
Brazilian Jews, intended to pre-
sent him with a document citing
the Universal Declaration of Hu-
man Rights and the International
Convention Against All Forms of
Racial Discrimination.
A spokesman for the Confedera-
tion said the document was mailed
to the Soviet Embassy after the
delegation was turned away. He
said the confederation would
bring the matter of Soviet treat-
ment of the Jews to the attention
of Brazil's Foreign Minister.
In Mexico City, leaders of Mexi-
can Jewry tried to confer recently
with the local Soviet ambassador
but he refused to receive them to
talk about the petition by 18 Jew-
ish families from Soviet Georgia
to leave for Israel. The memoran-
dum of the delegation was publish-
ed in the Mexican press in order
to explain the situation of Soviet
Jewry to the Mexican people.
About 100 members of the
Student Struggle for Soviet Jew-
ry celebrated the Feb. 20 birth-
day of Russian Premier Aleksei
N. Kosygin by staging a sur-
prise birthday party at the
Soviet UN Mission.
The participants marched with
signs as "Happy Birthday, Mr. Ko-
sygin—Let My People Go!" and
"Happy Birthday" in Hebrew
and English to the accompaniment
of a band. A Jewish resistance
song smuggled from the USSR,
"Otpusti Narod Moy—Let My Peo-
ple Go!" was sung, and excerpts
from appeals by Soviet Jews, also
smuggled out, were read.
A delegation of students headed
by SSSJ National Coordinator Ja-
cob Birnbaum went to the door of
the mission carrying a giant foot-
wide birthday cake inscribed with
"Mr. K: Let My People Go!" and
a Star of David. The cake, as well
as an offer of vodka, were refused
by the Russian officials.
The students vowed to return
each year on Kosygin's birthday
until they could properly celebrate
the fulfillment of Kosygin's pledge
of December, 1966 for Jewish
emigration. Not wanting to see a
good cake go to waste, the demon-
strators ate it themselves, giving
some to police officials.
SSSJ's New England branch
sent a "singing birthday telegram
to Kosygin at the Kremlin; and
British students indicated their
plans to begin a series of protests
at the London Soviet Embassy.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

8—Friday, February 27, 1970

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