Human Rights Watch as a Political Instrument of Liberal Cosmopolitan Elite of the United States of America


Human Rights Watch logotype Human Rights Watch logotype
Human Rights Watch logotype

Synchronism and coordination are what you can see in activities of Russian and western human rights groups and associations. Any statement of Amnesty International (AI) or American Human Rights Watch (HRW) on human rights violation (real or pretended) in Russian Federation follows the same “disclosing” publication by Moscow-based “Memorial” society or Moscow Helsinki Group.

Co-operation of Russian and western human rights activists depends not only on their professional solidarity but on their ideological closeness of interests, sometimes - closeness of their goals. It’s not a secret that well-known in Russia “Memorial”, Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG), “Human Rights Net” and Perm Human Rights Centre co-operate with governmental and non-governmental organizations and charity foundations of western countries such as National Endowment for Democracy (USA), Open Society Institute of George Soros, International Helsinki Federation (IHF) (Vienna, Austria), Ford Foundation (USA) and MacArthur Foundation.

This article is about one of the largest and, perhaps, the most active in “Russian affairs” organizations – American-based Human Rights Watch (HRW). This group, which is a member of International Helsinki Federation, has the closest ties with Russian human rights activists since its foundation in the end of 70s of XX century. We are deeply interested in reasons and circumstances under which Human Rights Watch appeared. Also we are interested in the role of G. Soros in changing its strategy in last 70s – early 80s of the last century. We paid special attention to the role of HRW in Yugoslavian events; in the article there are many examples of “selected protection” of the victims of human rights violation and of “double-standard” policy, which become classical examples of politicizing of human rights activities.

From the middle of 90s of the last century the name “Human Rights Watch” has occupied pages of western newspapers and magazines. Leading American and European mass media published the statements and addresses of its leaders; TV channels allowed their leaders and functionaries to go on the air; governmental institutions and officials answered its inquiries. Not a single military law-enforcing action of both army and police within their territory had escaped the attention of HRW observers and functionaries: Indonesian army military operations to suppress separatist riots in East Timor and Asma Island; police anti-terrorist operations of Yugoslavian army in Kosovo and of Russian army – in Chechnya. And always in the zone of the conflict there were HRW people or their colleagues from “brotherly” Helsinki Group local section, both before and after the military operations. They “recorded” all cases of violation of human rights and informed the general public, governments of countries of the West and UN.

And then avalanches of blood-chilling “information” about atrocities committed by Serbian and Russian armies, about ethnical sweep operations and genocide of Bosnian, Albanian and Chechen people fell upon heads of western readers and spectators. The Board of Directors of this American Organization in its declarations to the President and the Congress of the United States demanded application of political, economical, diplomatic and even military sanctions to foreign countries – Yugoslavia, Indonesia, Macedonia and Russia.

In other words, HRW appropriated the functions of informational and propagandist support for NATO (in first place for the USA) to interfere in interior affairs of foreign countries.

Future Human Rights Watch started most likely in July, 1973, when a group of 11 American writers, historians and publishers founded a committee which goal was to defend Andrei Amalrik, a well-known Soviet dissident and publicist, convicted by Soviet authorities for writing his opuses and circulation of them. Among the members of the Committee there were the most popular American writers Arthur Miller, John Updike, Robert Penn Warren, historian Harrison Salisbury and also presidents of the largest publishing houses William Jovanovich (“Harcourt Brace Jovanovich”), Robert L. Bernstein (“Random House”), Winthrop Knowlton (“Harper & Row”).

The inspirer and creator of the Committee was the president of “Random House” publishing company Robert L. Bernstein, a businessman with liberal views, who had established the Fund for Free Expression a year before.

In their address to the Soviet authorities the members of the Committee claimed that A. Amalrik was convicted for “free expression of his ideas”. The authors of the address appealed to Soviet authorities “to rehabilitate him in his rights including the right of free self-expression and the right to travel abroad if he needs to”[1]. The year after the Committee stuck up for a Soviet human rights activist Vladimir Bukovsky, who was locked up in a strict regime concentration camp.

Among rights and freedoms the members of the Committee defended they included the rights of prisoners to have defense, meetings, to receive and send mail and the right to obtain medical aid[2]. It was new and significant that the Committee especially marked that V.K. Bukovsky had suffered for giving publicity and for giving the West “documentary evidences of human rights violations in the USSR[3].

In 1976 Robert Bernstein visited academician A.D. Sakharov and several other well-known human rights activists in Moscow. Hours of conversations with them gave Robert Bernstein the idea of founding an organization in the USA providing systematic aid for human rights activists in the Soviet Union[4]. Indeed, two years after Helsinki Groups were founded in Moscow and later in other cities of the USSR. They inspected observation of Helsinki Agreement on human rights by Soviet authorities (third basket). In New York Robert Bernstein founded a human rights organization called US Helsinki Watch Committee. Its mission was to defend groups of human rights activists in the USSR and countries of Eastern Europe and to support their activity in giving publicity facts of human right violations in these countries.

The main difference among US Helsinki Watch Committee and Soviet groups of human rights activists was that Armenian, Ukrainian, Estonian and Lithuanian Helsinki Groups were engaged in human rights activities only in their republics, Moscow group – not only in Russia but over the whole Soviet Union. US Helsinki Watch proclaimed that their mission was the “monitoring” of human rights in all states – members of Helsinki Agreement, in first place in the USSR and in states which were Warsaw Treaty Organization participants.

This was an indeed revolutionary step of Helsinki Watch. But before the end of 70s of the XX century only international organizations such as Amnesty International or Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), founded in 1922 with its headquarters in Paris, ran human rights observation monitoring in foreign countries. Its membership list included names of representatives of almost all countries of our planet[5]. Within the UN such an institution is the Human Rights Commission acting in accordance with UN Regulations and being subordinate of the General Assembly.

As for US Helsinki Watch and sections founded later under the protection of US Human Rights Watch – their policy has been determined by now by only the Board of Directors and sections’ Advisory Committees of HRW; there is a number of foreigners, but it’s easy countable. Moreover, HRW have not even formal accountability to UN or other international organizations, and the same to US federal institutions – the Congress, President’s Administration or the Supreme Court.

Who had founded Human Rights Watch

Primarily, the personal staff of US Helsinki Watch consisted of several functionaries. Robert Bernstein himself became the president, and Wall Street corporative lawyers Orville Hickock Schell (a partner in Hughes, Hubbard & Reed) and Adrian DeWind (a partner in Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison). Also among the members of the Committee there were Aryeh Neier, a well known lawyer and national director of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and Jeri Laber, a US civil rights activist. A little later Jerome J. Shestack, one of the leading American lawyers, the founder and director of Lawyers’ Civil Rights Committee (1963) and the founder and president of Lawyers’ Human Rights Committee (1977) joined this Helsinki Watch Committee.

Jeri Laber remembered that in 1978 Robert Bernstein “have already foretold that a little group gathered around the table in the conference-hall of Random House Publishing Company will spread worldwide”[6]. Evidently, Bernstein at that time had already had serious motives to make such a brave declaration. As Jonathan F. Fanton (in 1998 – Chairman of the Board of Directors of HRW and at the same time the president of MacArthur Foundation) wrote 20 years after, Robert L. Bernstein was recommended to the position of Chairman of US Helsinki Watch Committee by the Board of Trustees of Ford Foundation and Arthur Goldberg, at the time the president of American Jewish Congress and US representative in the UN when L. B. Johnson was the President of the United States.

To estimate the level of respect of the persons who recommended Bernstein, I think it’s to the point to give the brief information about Ford Foundation. This organization was founded by a well-known automobile industry tycoon Henry Ford in 1936.

But by 50s of XX century the Foundation had lapsed to the Board of Trustees who weren’t connected to Ford’s family. Now the Board of Trustees of the Foundation consists of nearly 20 people; among them are directors and chairmen of the largest American industrial and financial corporations, such as Xerox Corp., Alcoa Inc. and Carlyle Asset Management Group. Since 1950 Ford Foundation finances the projects “oriented to the USSR and Eastern European states”.

In 1950-1988s the Foundation allocated $ 60 million “to support freedom of speech, cultural pluralism, human rights observation”[7]. In 1989 the Board of Trustees “carried the resolution to support progressive organizations in the Soviet Union, Poland and Hungary (later – in Czechoslovakia) directly, to accelerate the development of democratization and economical reformation of these countries.

The Foundation allocated about $ 30 million to achieve its object in 1989 – 1994”[8].

You see that the new human rights group had been created by participation of not only well-known politicians of American liberal establishment (Arthur Goldberg, Aryeh Neier and Jerome Shestack) but by participation of largest industrial and financial corporations. Thus we have no reason to say that Human Rights Watch is a “grassroot” organization.

But what were the motives which incited American liberals to defend human rights in the USSR? What had been internal and external political circumstances which contributed US Helsinki Watch to appear?

“We are the last hope of the mankind…”

The attitude of many liberals of the middle 70s to the problem of observation of human rights in the USSR and Eastern European states went into liberal (in essence) conception of peaceful co-existence (shared by plenty of conservators), which was accepted as a national strategy by President Kennedy (Democratic Party). This conception differed from the doctrine of suppression of communism, named “Kennan doctrine” after its author. It had been conducted since 1947 by both ruling parties of the USA – Republicans and Democrats. However, there are much more common between the two foreign policy doctrines than different, in so far as both of them took as a principle the specific conception lying on the basis of American mentality.

The fundamental characteristic of American social conscience that is common to both ruling elite and the masses – the idea of exceptionality and selectivity of the American nation. This, as sociologists say, ideologem has its origin – the idea of the God-chosen people which English Protestants brought to the “promised land”. The idea became “the cement” of national American ideology. In the articles and speeches of US founding fathers, including the first President of the United States Thomas Jefferson, later in Abraham Lincoln’s, James Monroe’s and Teddy Roosevelt’s speeches you can see not only signs but tirades about special mission of the USA “in this world”. Exactly, Abraham Lincoln is the author of the words: “We, the Americans, are the last hope of the world”. Here is what Herman Melville, the classic of American literature wrote: “We, the Americans, are special, God-chosen people; we are the New Israel of our times; we carry a shrine of freedoms to the world”[9].

However, until the USA had been the leading state only in the New World, their “selectivity” and “messianism” was displayed only in introducing control over the countries of North and South America, and in ethnical sweeps of North American aboriginals – Indians.

For the first time a clear conception in which the grounds of US pretensions were stated was introduced by President Woodraw Wilson in the beginning of 20s. The conception postulated the tree main American values, which the USA had to bring the world: peace, market and democracy. However, up to the World War II, these “emancipatory” ideas were not widespread in American society. After the war the ideas of selectivity and messianism of the United States, Protestant by their nature, gained powerful support – religious dogmas of “God-chosen people” lying on the basis of Judaic religion. It is spread more or less among members of comparatively small (about 8 million people) Jewish community. Though small, by 70s this extremely influent community had taken leading positions in business, finance, science, law and mass media, lately – in state institutions such as the Congress, Law Courts, and the Federal Government. Thus it is not accidentally the mentality of a considerable part of American believers is dependent, as A. S. Panarin wrote, “more on Old Testament intolerance and God-chosen people morals than New Testament universalism which prefers Christian humbleness and repentance – on the spirit of primogeniture and selectivity”[10].

As far as the United States has come to international level, the scales of its pretensions to be the leader and the savior of the humanity from any “challenge” have been growing. After the World War II, when the USA became the strongest in political, economical, technological and military aspects than any state of non-socialist world, the exceptionality of the USA became understood as superiority over all other nations, not only in religious but in cultural and civilization terms. As the most developed in the world, the USA assumed not only the functions of a warrantor of “peace and democracy” but the mission to widespread and to instill American values worldwide.

Four basic concepts of US foreign policy

For the ruling elite of the USA the Soviet Union was not only a hostile state founded up to social, economical, political and ideological principles completely alien for the USA. The USSR was perceived by the American ruling elite as a nation of another civilization. In so far as the USSR defied the USA as a pretender to be the universal model for imitation and the absolute leader of the world, American elite could only consider it the worst principal enemy. That’s why it was subject to be either destroyed, or reduced to a second-grade Power.

However, the methods proposed by different groups of American ruling elite for the “liberation of the world of communist totalitarism” essentially differed from each other. It’s well-known, that the two main social political philosophic doctrines in American post-war political life are: liberal (belongs mostly to the Democrats) and conservative (belongs mostly to Republican Party members). They differ by their approach to solutions of internal social and economical problems and by their understanding of the role of state in economy and social policy.

But in US foreign policy (down to present time) there are four prevailing concepts, which mix up with the dualism of the political life. They are: isolationism, realism, interventionalism and socialist internationalism.

The first concept, isolationism, proclaiming “America first”, with Pat Buchanan as a leader of followers, was very popular before the World War II. It lost its influence after the USA had engaged in the war and after the USSR had come out to the world arena. After the collapse of the Soviet Union it revived and now it’s shared by considerable part of conservative Republicans. The isolationists criticize US pretensions to rule the world; they called the Americans not to intervene in internal affairs of foreign states and to limit foreign political activities to nothing more than defense of the direct interests of the US.

The second concept, realism, is shared by two groups – realists-Republicans and realists-Democrats. It prevailed in American foreign policy of 60s-70s of XX century. The realists shared the idea of the US as the main warrantor and defender of “free world”. Though the main threat for US national interests they think was communist China, they realized that the result of a nuclear war would be catastrophic for the USA and the whole world. That’s why the both groups of realists conducted, in common, the policy of peaceful coexistence, offered by the Soviet Union in the middle of 50s. According to this policy, realists approved the program of relaxation of international tension and making economical, political and cultural contacts with the USSR, China and Eastern European countries.

The difference between foreign policies conducted by realists-Republicans (conservators) and realists-Democrats (liberals) was as follows: conservators were more pragmatic and nationalist-oriented than liberals; they didn’t set themselves the task of changing social-political systems of other countries. The level of hostility to one or another communist country was not defined by the level of its totalitarism but by the level of its ability to compete rival – geopolitical (USSR and China) or economical (USSR, Czechoslovakia, GDR). Criticizing internal policies in communist countries conservators paid primary attention not to human rights violations but undeveloped democracy institutes, free entrepreneurship, market and capitalist relations, or their absence, and to persecution of believers.

The pragmatism of the foreign policy of conservators was especially displayed in supporting “right” repressive regimes (by Republican administrations) if they conducted pro-American foreign policy or provided profitable conditions for American companies or capitals and favorable investment climate. The same kind of pragmatism was shared by realists-Republicans concerning international institutions (UN, OSCE) as instruments to achieve the objects which lie in the sphere of US national interests. That’s why conservators could easily broke any agreement (even international convention) if they considered it non-profitable for the USA. The most brilliant and well-known realist was (and is) Henry Kissinger.

Realists-liberals built their foreign policy so as to their defense of national interests wasn’t opposite to values they consider to be common to mankind. Even the President of the United States John F. Kennedy declared the defense of human rights and freedoms “a national American philosophy”. Having non-conservative point of view, liberals, criticizing human rights violations, didn’t discriminate “pro-Soviet left” or “pro-American right” totalitarian and authoritarian (or simply repressive) regimes. This was the reason for their ultra-right critics to consider the liberals a kind of communist agents[11]. Criticizing communist regimes, realists-liberals didn’t emphasize so much “the absence of democracy and free market” in those countries, as freedom of speech, meeting and emigration.

Conservators frankly declared the absolute priority of US national interests over international institutions and agreements; liberals insisted on the priority of international laws and agreements such as international pacts on civil and political rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They equally supported both the thesis of limited sovereignty of all countries including the USA and the thesis of the priority of defending human rights over the sovereignty of national states. Later this thesis was developed in so-called “humanitarian interventions” to Yugoslavia, East Timor and Sierra Leone. John Kennedy was the outstanding representative of liberal Democrats. So were Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Senator Edward Kennedy and, nowadays, the presidential candidate John Kerry.

The third concept is interventionalism. Interventionalists are often called “hawks”. At first, in the middle of 70s, Republicans prevailed in this group, though there were many Democrats, such as Henry Jackson and Jacob K. Javits. But the most piquant was the fact that in the group of interventionalists there were intellectual leaders of communist trotskist parties and groups of 30s-70s, mainly Jews – Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Sidney Hook, Frank Mayer.

Interventionalists roughly criticized Democratic administration of J. Carter for its

utopism in estimating of communist threat and its policy of disarmament, facing world communism (in the first place, the USSR) which was moving forward on free world. They also criticized moderate Republicans for their defensive position, for its policy of trading and economic co-operation with the “Evil Empire”.

Aggressive interventionalist ideology often appealed to traditional religious values, mainly fundamentalist Christian (protestant). It considers “communism” as an atheist ideology, and the USSR as the “Evil Empire”. It attached to the cold war a character of crusade, its imperialist and hegemonic intentions dressed themselves in religious and moral clothes.

In the end of 70s Irving Kristol named interventionalists “neo-conservators”. Some of them, as Paul Wolfowitz, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle and Abram Shulsky joined Reagan administration in the beginning of 80s, but didn’t get important positions.

At last the smallest but extremely active in students’ campuses groups were left social-democratic and socialist wing of Democrats, non-party socialists and members of Green Party. Though most of them didn’t considered themselves Marxists, in their political activities they held together with socialist movements and parties of Latin America, Cuba, Nicaraguan Sandinists, left groups of Salvador and Colombia. The socialists accused American imperialism of supporting repressive regimes, exploiting people of the countries of the third world, and of an arms race drive. Being socialists and critics of “homo economicus”, they appreciate the achievements of socialist countries in the sphere of social equality, universal and professional education, free medical aid and guaranteed job. At the same time they criticized these countries for undeveloped legal state and low level civil and human rights observation. In 70s-80s the recognized “spiritual” leaders of American non-party socialists were Noam Chomsky and Alexander Cockburn.

Reforms from inside vs. outside pressure

In “communist” system American conservators according to their ideology didn’t see inner strength and resources which could create conditions for transforming it to a “western type” society. That’s why they who argued world hegemony for USA (neo-conservators-interventionalists) found only one real way to put the Soviet Union aside as a competitor – to destroy it. To do it gradually or immediately was a matter of circumstances, not of principles. The liquidation of the Soviet Union was possible either as a result of military defeat or its exhaustion during arms race drive and economic blockade. Therefore, the concept of restraint and throwing the USSR away was the same for both types of conservators – either “realists” or “interventionalists”.

Neither life level nor the problems of development of legal state in the USSR did matter for conservators. The problem of human rights in the Soviet Union (as in other countries) itself became important for conservators only in case of using it in interests of the USA.

The liberals considered the Soviet system able to transform in result of gradual inner changes and reforms. They didn’t describe Soviet social formation in religious terms (moreover, in terms of conspiracy). They thought socialism was a historic social formation, one of formations that change each other, with its merits and demerits. The merits were guaranteed job, free medical aid and education; the demerit – absence of legal state. They thought it didn’t match the cultural level of the people and development level of technology and industry. In spite of all that, the ideology of “anti-communist resistance”, either with its “throwing back” or “restraint” lost moral and political grounds; “communist countries” became objects of critic (including the field of human rights).

Accordingly, the policy of the United States, in the opinion of liberals, had to be directed not to military resistance against USSR, not to organize undercover groups oriented to overthrow “bolshevist” regime, but to form in the USSR objective and subjective conditions, which was necessary for further political changes. One of the most important “subjective” conditions was, in the opinion of liberals’, the gradual bringing Soviet law practice into line with Soviet law, and after L.I. Brezhnev signed under the Helsinki Agreement, the gradual bringing Soviet law into line with international law, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In their early Statements and Declarations addressed to UN, OSCE and US Congress, the leaders of overwhelming majority of human rights organizations didn’t put in claims to change the political system of the Soviet Union but to make the USSR observe Helsinki agreements. US Helsinki Watch Committee became the one and only non-governmental national organization (NGO) in the world which took a mission to point out to other states how to observe human rights in their own countries. These directions to intervene in the internal affairs of foreign countries, to limit sovereignty of independent states to solve their own problems could hardly become widespread among human rights organizations, later in mass media, if HRW hadn’t found support and like-minded people in these countries.

Such a group acting “worldwide”, though very small, were Russian human rights activists who were ready to give up their freedom – “the conscience of the nation”. Exactly, Russian, because human rights activists in other Soviet republics – Lithuania, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Estonia etc. – struggled, in fact, only for independence of their republics, masking their separatist activities by using human rights defenders’ phraseology.


To the middle of 70s the signs of collapse in all the spheres of Soviet system and society became evident. Dissidents and human rights activists were only “the top of the iceberg” of heterodoxy, in which a considerable part of educated strata of Soviet society (including Communist party members) was involved. For western liberals who measured the grade of progressivism of a society by the level of development of political and civil rights, the appearance of human rights activists in the USSR was an evident symptom of a process of “mind-changing”, and they joined this process.

By that time the West had already known about the division of Russian dissidents to “westernists-progressists” and “nationalists-conservators”. Among “westernists” there were such persons as physicians A.D. Sakharov, Yu.F. Orlov, V.M. Turchin, philosophers G.S. Pomeranz, L.M. Batkin and those human rights activists who considered that Russia must choose “universal European way” to a “legal state” with market economy. Writer A.I. Solzhenitsyn, mathematician I.R. Shafarevich, historian and philosopher L.N. Gumilyov and other Russian dissidents, who thought that Russia had its own Russian way of development (neither Western, nor Eastern), were considered nearly “nationalists”.

Motives of western liberals involved in activities to defend Russian human rights activists might be explained by their personal sympathy to dissidents. Western human rights defenders reputed their Russian colleagues (as it seemed to them) like-minded and possessing such characteristics common to them as heightened sense of justice, devotion to humanitarian ideals of the Age of the Enlightment, critical attitude (sometimes dislike) of the values of consumption society and unselfishness.

Not the least of the factors was that in eyes of western liberals Russian dissidents looked internationalists defending cultural and religious rights of national minorities oppressed (as liberals imagined) by “Russian chauvinist” state. This aspect of human rights activities especially touched a sore spot of American Jewry, who had been subject to religious and ethnic discrimination in some Southern states of the US still in 50s. In 70 – 80s they formed the main body of American human rights organizations.

And the main thing was that Russian human rights activists proclaimed civil and political rights the universal and fundamental human values, and to defend them they proclaimed not the concern of Soviet citizens but the whole mankind. In that very fact of appearance of “rights universalists” in “non-democratic” and “non-western” Russia American supporters of “universal liberalization” found corroboration of their thesis of “universality” and “globality” of human rights conception. It is natural that American liberals including members of the Fund for Freedom of Expression found Russian human rights activists like-minded, congenial souls sharing their way of thinking and principles. Also this proximity grew because among both American and Russian human rights activists there was a considerable percentage of Jews. Up to present time the opinion that Russian human rights movement which came to existence in the middle of 60s had been arisen in the environment of liberal Jewish intellectuals, who was brought up on books written by Ilya Ehrenburg, Ilya Ilf, Isaac Babel etc.

The Jewish Question”

One of the important factors which provoked in the USA heightened interest in human rights problem in USSR was the movement of Soviet Jews to defend their right to departure abroad. Trials of “samolyotchiks” (aircraft hijackers), which took place in Leningrad and Riga in the beginning of 70s provoked mass demonstrations of American Jews. They demanded from Soviet authorities to “let my people go!” The Jewry of North America, Europe and Israel pictured the struggle of Soviet Jews to depart to Israel as a new departure of the Israelites from Egypt; support to Jews-refusniks became a pious deed and a duty of every Jew.

In the course of struggle for Soviet Jews’ departure local liberal Jews-reformists (i.e. who belonged to reformist branch of Judaism) in many states of the USA founded Councils for Soviet Jewry. In 1972 they united into the Union of Councils for Soviet Jewry (UCSJ), there were Councils from the USA, Canada and Great Britain in it. Every Council provided financial, informational, political and moral support to several Soviet Jews-refusniks and took their names to special lists given the President of the United States and the Congress. To the end of 70s such a council was founded almost in every US state; it allowed involving several hundred of Soviet Jews-refusniks.

To follow the creation of “reformist” UCSJ, “conservative” National Conference for Soviet Jewry (NCSJ) was founded. It had close financial and ideological relations with Israel. In 1972 American liberal Jewish scientists founded the Committee of Concerned Scientists, which mission was to support (including professional help) Soviet scientists who had been oppressed for heterodoxy and human rights activities – mainly Jews who became refusniks, fired or oppressed for their intention to leave the Soviet Union.

In 1974 some independent Jewish student organizations which arranged demonstrations to support Soviet Jews united to form Student Struggle. Student Struggle arranged sitting demonstrations and strikes near Soviet consulates.

And at last the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights was founded in New York in 1978; it was engaged in legal supporting Soviet Jews who submitted an application to leave USSR.

In US central press (controlled mainly by Jews) – New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, The New Republican, Newsweek, US News and World Report the status of Soviet Jews had been compared with the status of Afro-Americans in the South of the US before adoption of anti-discrimination acts. As a result, to the beginning of 80s not only Jewish community but almost whole American liberal establishment joined the struggle for the right of Jews to leave the Soviet Union. Protestants-Evangelists joined liberals in this struggle; they traditionally considered Jews the God-chosen people and their emigration – the biblical departure of Israelites from Egypt.

At last, social activities and support of mass media had had an effect on the government. In 1974 under pressure of Jewish lobby and in defiance of Republican administration of “realist” Richard Nixon the Congress adopted an amendment of congressmen-“interventionalists” Jackson and Vannik. This amendment regulated American – Soviet trading with emigration policy of Soviet authorities concerning Jews. It was the first action of US government which turned a Soviet internal legal problem into external and political.

(to be continued)

[1] New York Times Book Review, June 27, 1975

[2] New York Times Book Review, June 27, 1975

[3] J. Laber, Biography of Robert L. Bernstein,

[4] http: //

[5] J. Laber, Biography of Robert L. Bernstein

[6] A. Schlesinger Jr., “The Cycles of American History”, Houghton Mifflin Co, NY (1987)

[7] A. Schlesinger Jr., “The Cycles of American History”, Houghton Mifflin Co, NY (1987)

[8] http:.//

[9] A.S. Panarin, “Temptation of Globalism”, Moscow, Russian National Foundation, 2000

[10] James L. Tyson, “Target America: The Influence of Communist Propaganda on US Media”, Chicago, Radner Gateway, 1981

[11] Joshua Rubenstein, “Soviet Dissidents”, Beacon Press, Boston (1985)


See also
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In 1975 at the summit of the heads of European states, the USA and Canada in Helsinki, an accord which is well known as the Helsinki Agreement was signed. The states of Eastern Europe including the USSR were recognized as “legal”. In exchange for this “concession” from NATO, Soviet leaders agreed to include into this accord a regulation which imposed responsibility of all these states to observe human rights as prescribed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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