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are clearly violated in the case of the Jews in the Soviet Union, which I have mentioned in my statement.
I think it is less well known that these same rights are guaranteed in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 2 which was adopted by the Soviet Union and and is in force. I refer specifically to Article 5 of that Convention which states these rights in terms that are particularly interesting in regard to this issue, because they are stated in terms that there shall be no discrimination among groups of different ethnic origins with regard to the enforcement of these rights.
That, of course, is what we are dealing with here. The Jewish community in the Soviet Union is not granted many of the rights that are granted other ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union.
COVENANT ON CIVIL RIGHTS
I think it might be helpful to you to have this convention in the record of these hearings. I would like also to refer to another international document, the International Covenant on Civil Rights adopted by the United Nations in December 1966, which contains similar guarantees; specifically I would refer to articles X, XVIII, and XXVII.
Again I would suggest that you might want to have this document as part of the hearing record.3
Article XXVII is particularly interesting because it states that in those states in which ethnic, religious, or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right in community with the other members of their group to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion or to use their own language.
Again the contrast of the treatment of the Jews with other ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union is very clear and very distressing.
The other point I wanted to emphasize is the point Mr. Buchanan made that pressure on the Soviet Union does have its effect, all the various means of pressure through world opinion that are brought to bear. I think this was particularly clear at the time of the Leningrad trial when certain Jews were under sentence of death. World opinion reacted with outrage and the Soviets did not take that action. I have seen this, myself, at the United Nations, during my years there, in the early 1960's, when the Soviet treatment of its Jewish population was first brought up in U.N. bodies.
I think it was first brought up in the United Nations Subcommission for the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and then before the Human Rights Commission. The Soviet delegates fought like tigers to prevent this material about their own treatment of the Jews from being even debated. They didn't want to have to try to defend it.
I think the reason for this is quite clear in the U.N. context, that the Soviets like to present their own society as a model society for other nations and particularly for the new nations of the world, and the developing nations. They are extremely embarrassed when it is proven in an international body that they are violating international standards of behavior and their own international obligations.
2 The document appears on p. 244 of the appendix. 3 The document appears on p. 215 of the appendix.
I think that the increased emigration of the Jews from the Soviet Union also proves this, as was indicated in that story written by Robert Kaiser of the Post, referred to previously.
INTENSIFY THE PRESSURE This of course does not mean that the pressure should be relaxed because some progress has been made. On the contrary, I think it indicates that we should use every means at our disposal to intensify the pressure and increase it so as hopefully to persuade the Soviet Union to carry out their solemn obligations more fully and with a freer hand. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ROSENTHAL. Do you think it is appropriate, Mr. Bingham, that this committee and this Congress report out a resolution calling upon our Government to take the initiative both in bilateral diplomatic arrangements and in the United Nations, to discuss this problem?
Mr. BINGHAM. I certainly do, Mr. Chairman. I have cosponsored such resolutions and I was delighted to see in your opening statement that you intend that this subcommittee should take such action. I look forward to your resolution coming before the full Foreign Affairs Committee. I shall certainly support it.
(Congressman Bingham's prepared statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF Hox. JONATHAN B. BINGHAM, A REPRESENTATIVE IX CoxGRESS
FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK Mr. Chairman, I compliment you for holding these hearings on this vital subject and I am grateful for the opportunity to take part. I know you have many witnesses to hear and I will keep my remarks very brief. I want to concentrate just on two of the many aspects of this problem : first, the fact that the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union is in violation of the Soviets' own declarations and solemn treaty obligations; second that the Soviets do respond to pressure from the outside.
While, in recent years, the Soviets have allowed increasing numbers of Jews to leave the Soviet Union, they are still withholding that privilege from many thousands, if not indeed from millions. This refusal to allow their own citizens to leave their own country is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document which the late great Eleanor Roosevelt had so much to do with drafting, and which was signed and adopted by the Soviet Union, the United States, and all other members of the United Nations. Specifically, that Declaration provides in Article 13/2: "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”
The Soviet treatment of Jews within its borders is also in violation of this convention, and specifically the following guaranteed rights:
Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 20. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Article 26. (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
It is less well known that the same obligations to let citizens leave their own country and enjoy freedoms within their country are set forth as an obligation in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. This convention was adopted by the Soviet Union and, having been signed by 46 nations, has come into force. While, unfortunately, the United States has not ratified this convention, the fact remains that the Soviet Union is obligated to carry out its provisions.
The second point I want to make is that the Soviets do respond to pressures from the outside world, such as speeches and resolutions at the United Nations, resolutions adopted by the United States Congress, peaceful demonstrations by Jewish communities around the world, and the like. During my years at the United Nations, the Soviet treatment of its Jewish population was first brought up in the course of debates before U.N. bodies, specifically the United Nations Subcommission for the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, and before the Human Rights Commission. The Soviet delegates fought like tigers to prevent these matters from being brought up and debated, thus indicating that they were very sensitive on the subject. In this connection it is important to realize that the Soviet Union in the early 1960s is anxious to appear before the neutral and uncommitted countries of the world, especially the developing nations, as a model society. In pursuit of this objective, it is highly embarrassing to the Soviets to be caught violating their own principles and their own solemn obligations in regard to the rights of minorities.
Soviet actions in response to pressure have been quite evident. For example, last year when a group of Jews in Leningrad were threatened with the death sentence in connection with an alleged planned highjacking, worldwide pressures quite clearly caused the Soviet Union to back away. Indeed the increased flow of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union itself reflect the impact of the protests being made in this country and elsewhere.
This of course does not mean that the pressure should be relaxed in the face of this degree of movement by the Soviets. On the contrary, it means that the pressures should be intensified so that the Soviets hopefully may be persuaded to carry out their solemn obligations more fully and with a freer hand.
Mr. ROSENTHAL. Our next witness is another of our colleagues from New York, Congressman James Scheuer.
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES H. SCHEUER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. SCHEUER. I very much appreciate the opportunity to appear here this morning.
I wish to congratulate the very distinguished chairman of the subcommittee, Mr. Rosenthal of New York, my honored colleague, for his leadership and for his personal drive that has been an inspiration to all of us in seeing justice done in this area.
I commend him and the other members of the subcommittee for bringing this ferment which has swept through the Congress to a focus and a climax, in effect, by having hearings on the several very excellent resolutions that have been proposed.
I have prepared testimony, Mr. Chairman. Because much of it has been covered by the very excellent testimony you have heard from two Members of Congress plus the rabbi from Birmingham, I simply would like to put it in the record and speak very briefly, so as not to be too redundant.
Mr. ROSENTHAL. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(Congressman Scheuer's prepared statement follows:) STATEMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE JAMES H. SCHEUER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK Mr. Chairman, many times throughout our history, we, as Americans, have expressed our sympathy for oppressed citizens of other countries. Examples from our early days as a nation include American sympathy for and support of the French Revolution. More recently, we have voiced concern and support for the people of Greece, Vietnam, and for the minorities in Rhodesia and South Africa.
It is true that these expressions of sympathy have been made at times when here at home we have failed to live up totally to our deeply held ideals of freedom, opportunity, equality, cultural diversity, and justice under law. Nevertheless, we have tried, at times more intensely than at others, to abide by these ideals at home and we have done much to insure a greater enjoyment of these rights in other lands.
In light of this history, it is perfectly appropriate and consistent for the United States to express its sympathy for Soviet citizens of the Jewish faith.
POLICY OF OPPRESSION
There is no doubt that the three and a half million Jewish citizens of the Soviet Union are suffering from a policy of oppression and discrimination which denies them certain basic human freedoms and the full package of rights and privileges enjoyed by the other 120 officially recognized minority groups in the Soviet Union.
While it is true that many Jews in the Soviet Union are placed in physical danger solely because of their ancestry, they in no way appear to be in the danger that Jews all over Europe faced during the infamous holocaust of the Third Reich.
Rather, today, Soviet Jewry suffers from a policy of forced assimilation-a deliberate, government-sponsored effort to stamp out all vestiges of Jewish religion, as well as the rich Jewish cultural tradition and heritage.
Synagogues have been systematically closed down for the past 30 years. Less than 70 synagogues remain to serve a population of three and a half million Jews. This compares with the 120 synagogues in Chicago which serve a Jewish population of only 200,000. Moreover, through the use of police informers, those Jews who wish to attend the remaining synagogues are intimidated and made afraid to do so.
The study of Hebrew is consistently and forcibly discouraged. Recently, Moscow's only Hebrew teacher was imprisoned on vague charges of "hooliganism."
The Soviet government informally, but nonetheless rigorously, imposes a ban upon the manufacture or importation of Jewish religious objects.
Jews who manifest a desire to emigrate to Israel are fired from their jobs and harassed both officially and unofficially.
Mr. Chairman, I could go on, but you will no doubt hear more on the specific manifestations of Soviet policy from others who are more expert than I. The broad outlines of the situation are clear, however. Jews are the subject of intense cultural, religious, and job discrimination in the Soviet Union not visited on any other single minority group.
HIGHER EXPECTATIONS TODAY Today, peoples of all nations are viewed as possessing rights which were unthought of years ago. This new consciousness of human dignity is exemplified by the U.N. Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the constitutions of many nations including that of the Soviet Union. World opinion will no longer tolerate violations of these rights, let alone the murderous pogroms of a hundred years ago in Russia and Poland, and a generation ago in Germany.
It is also true that discrimination against all forms of religion in the Soviet Union is not particularly new. Beginning with the Bolshevik Revolution, the Soviet Union has discriminated against those who are religious or otherwise viewed as dissenters from offiical policy.
But, here again, what is new is the changed state of affairs. Shortly after the Six Day War in the Middle East, Jews in the Soviet Union experienced a tremendous heightened interest in Israel and in Jewish religious culture and tradition. In part, the Soviet government viewed this increased interest in the same threatened way as it views any expression of dissent. In part, the government viewed this revived interest as contrary to the government's policy of support for the Arabs in the Middle East.
These two forces converged and led to an intensified campaign of discrimination against Jews so that today they are victims of far more intensive discrimination than that experienced by any other religious or cultural group in the Soviet Union.
Jews, unlike other minority groups, are not permitted to establish their own schools. Jews, unlike Muslims, for example, are not permitted to leave the Soviet Union for religious study. Jews, unlike other minority groups, have been placed on trial for “hooliganism," and other crimes. All of these facts indicate that the Jews have been singled out for "special treatment."
At a crucial point in Russian history, Lenin wrote a tract entitled, “What is to be Done?" We ask the very same question today.
I have spoken with a number of Jews who recently left the Soviet Union, who indicate that the Soviet government is sensitive to world opinion and that unofficial expressions of concern do have a beneficial effect upon the policy of that government if they are peaceful and lawful, and do not involve violence or destruction of property. It is unmistakably clear that official expressions of concern would be even more meaningful.
The time has come, therefore, for the United States to make known its disapproval of the Soviet policy towards Russian Jews. The President should make his personal concern known through both formal and informal channels. I have written the President to this effect together with 41 of my colleagues. The response of the President to this letter was less than encouraging. In fact, the President simply noted that he had issued a statement last January 11th to American Jewish leaders expressing this country's commitment to freedom of religion, cultural diversity, and the right to emigrate. The President should make this commitment known in frequent and forceful public statements addressed to the Soviet government and to Soviet officials.
USIA REJECTS YIDDISH PROGRAMS Moreover, the United States should express its concern through the Voice of America by means of Yiddish language broadcasts to the Soviet Union. Again, I have joined in letters to this effect sent by a number of my colleagues to Mr. Frank Shakespeare, Director of the United States Information Agency. And, again, the response has not been encouraging. In fact, the Agency has refused to broadcast in Yiddish.
Voice of America broadcasts in Yiddish could have a great beneficial effect upon the morale of the Jews in the Soviet Union. Moreover, broadcasts of this nature would be a clear signal to the Russians that our country is deeply concerned about Soviet treatment of its Jewish citizens.
Mr. Chairman, these are only two actions which our government can take to help ameliorate the plight of Soviet Jewry. There are many other ways in which our country could make its concern known. I therefore support the resolutions before this committee which call upon the President to take appropriate, forceful steps immediately.
The Soviet Union must be made to realize that, as an established power which does not face any real external threat, it need not fear competitive ideas; it need not fear those who criticize Soviet society or those who seek to recall their cultural heritage.
Finally, it must be made to realize that the detente it apparently seeks with the United States can only be furthered, not stymied, by granting to Soviet Jewry as well as others in the Soviet Union, the full rights of worship; cultural diversity, and emigration enjoyed by citizens in all freedom-loving nations.
Mr. SCHEUER. I also have an exchange of letters between myself and the White House, a letter signed by 42 Congressmen, and an answer from the President through David Abshire, the Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations. I would like unanimous consent to put them in the record at the end of my testimony.
Mr. ROSENTHAL. It is so ordered.