NEW YORK (Apr. 26)
Rep. Herbert Zelenko, New York Democrat, asserted tonight that there was a direct link between the Israel-Arab conflict in the Middle East and the current Soviet mistreatment of Russian Jews.
Speaking at an emergency conference called by the Jewish Labor Committee to protest the recent Soviet manifestations of anti-Semitism, Rep. Zelenko declared that “the present attack upon Jews and Jewish life in Russia” was motivated by Soviet “aggressive designs in the Middle East and North Africa,” a “cheap way to curry the favor of the Arab nationalists.”
More than 800 delegates from trade unions and fraternal organizations attended the meeting. Other speakers in addition to Mr. Zelenko were Adolph Held, national chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee; Nathan Chanin, general secretary of the Workmens Circle; Jacob Pat and Benjamin Tabachinsky, respectively general secretary and national director of the JLC; and Professor Timothy Costello, of New York University.
Congressman Zelenko condemned the recent United States action in backing and voting for a Security Council resolution condemning Israel for its March 17 reprisal raid on Syrian gun posts in the Lake Tiberias area. He said the resolution would simply “whet the Arab’s appetite” and if such actions were not stopped, “the ultimate result would be “to offer up to utter extinction of all Russian Jews on the altar of catering to the Arab’s capacity for making trouble” in the Middle East.
He urged the United States Government to insist at the United Nations “that the Arabs sit down to a peace table with Israel so that they can work out a solution of the problems that remain between them. Once this is done, there will be an end to blackmail pressures against the United States and Russia” by the Arab countries.
He also urged that all unions, community groups, religious organizations and inter-faith groups be asked to crystallize public opinion against the Soviet mistreatment of its Jews, conduct rallies “and by every means express their indignation toward the Soviets on the question of religious persecution.”
He also proposed that efforts be made to contact all labor organizations in other countries “to exert both public opinion and economic pressure to cease the persecution of Jewish citizens.”