The Status of the Jews in the Soviet Union

Courtesy Reuters

During the past quarter-century, enlightened public opinion throughout the world has become keenly sensitive to the treatment of minorities as a barometer of moral decency and social sanity. The awesome experiences of this period have drawn particular attention to the symbolic and actual position of the Jewish minority. In this light, the status of the Jews in the Soviet Union warrants special concern.

The situation of Soviet Jews can be comprehended primarily within the framework of Soviet nationalities policy. That policy, as reflected in Communist party directives, the Soviet Constitution and public law, is based on the ideological acceptance of the concept of national self- determination and on the legal recognition of the right of all nationalities within Soviet borders to cultural freedom. Actual Soviet policy toward the Jews clearly violates these principles. It is tantamount to a policy of discrimination for it denies to the Jews such ethnic- cultural

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