The advocacy efforts were later detailed by Dr. William E. Korey, director of the New York Bureau of the B'nai B'rith International Council, in the February 1965 issue of the National Jewish Monthly, a publication produced by B'nai B'rith:
This month, the United Nations General Assembly will be deeply involved in creating a historic and powerful legal instrument directed against discrimination on racial and ethnic grounds. The so-called 'Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination' will bind all states that ratify it to take specific measures aimed at removing barriers to human dignity.
While this proposed international treaty is particularly popular in Asian and African circles, it is instructive to note that the decision to write it was sparked by the 'swastika epidemic' of 1959-60. The 'epidemic' had been triggered by the swastika desecration of a synagogue in Cologne, West Germany, on December 24, 1959; in the next few months, some 1,800 incidents of an anti-Semitic character were reported in over 40 countries.
Of particular interest to Jewish communities throughout the world is a new Article that has been advanced be the United States to 'condemn anti-Semitism' and to oblige contracting states to 'take action...for its speedy eradication...' President Lyndon B. Johnson states last October in a message to a New York rally on Soviet anti-Semitism that he had personally 'instructed' the American delegate to the Commission on Human Rights, Mrs. Marietta Tree, to propose the new article for the Convention.
B'nai B'rith has made available a specially-prepared memorandum which spells out the reasons why an Article condemning anti-Semitism is particularly appropriate for the contemplated international treaty. Among other things it points out that anti-Semitism is a form of racial or ethnic discrimination which has a longer and more persistent history than perhaps any other form, reaching back more than 2,000 years.
Furthermore, anti-Semitism is a classic example--as evidenced by the history of naziism--of the use of racial and ethnic discrimination as an instrument for the seizure of political power, for the destruction of free institutions and for the launching of foreign aggression.
In addition to promoting the support of the article, B'nai B'rith in vigorously urging that effective implementation machinery be established by the Convention to see that it is enforced. Were the implementation machinery to include a procedure for not merely complaints by governments about violations of the treaty--this seems to have considerable support--but also complaints from non-governmental organizations, then a long step forward would have been taken in the direction of enforcement of human rights.
Read the JTA article in its entirety, below:
January 20, 1965
Two international organizations–one of which has the American Jewish Committee as an affiliate, and the other representing B’nai B’rith and the Board of Deputies of British Jews–urged a United Nations body here today not only to adopt an international convention calling for the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance, but also to formulate procedures of implementation which would put enforcement teeth into a UN document guaranteeing religious freedom throughout the world.
The steps were taken here before the United Nations Sub commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. This 14 member body has before it several preliminary drafts of a religious freedoms convention which became international law when finally adopted by the UN General Assembly and ratified by a sufficient number of member states.
The statements were submitted by the International League for the Rights of Man, represented here by Sidney Liskofsky, a staff member of the American Jewish Committee, which is affiliated with the League; and by Gustav Warburg, representing the Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations, comprised of the B’nai B’rith and the British Board.