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April 09, 1971 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1971-04-09

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Courage of Georgian Jews Related by New Immigrants

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Another
planeload of Russian Jews landed
at Lydda Airport late Monday
night, bringing immigrants from
Odessa, Riga and for the first time
in years, from the remote Geor-
gian Republic.
The two families from Georgia
who debarked from the chartered
El Al jet were signatories of the
now-famous letter to Premier
Golda Meir. signed by 18 Jewish
family heads, begging for help to
emigrate to Israel.
They told newsmen that after
the letter was made public, Soviet
authorities demanded that the sign-
ers send another letter to Mrs.
Meir repudiating their first. But
none of the families complied,
though they were questioned by
the secret police and many were
fired from their jobs and had to
live on the charity of neighbors,
the newcomers said.
They claimed that there are 70,-
000 Jews in Georgia, and all want
to go to Israel. Whenever a repre-
sentative of the interior ministry
visits a Georgian town, he is be-
sieged by Jews who want to know
the fate of their visa applications,
the arrivals said. They reported
that when they left for Israel,
about 1,000 Jews came to see them
off "and pleaded with us that we
continue their struggle from Is-
rael. - The Georgians said their
children were permitted to pray
three times a day but not to study

(In Miami Beach, Dr. Israel
Miller, president of the American
Zionist Federation, said an in-
crease in immigration would be
"welcomed by humanitarians
throughout the world." He added,
hoWever, "If it is only a gesture
to insure a peaceful Soviet Com-
munist Party Congress, the So-
viet authorities are deluding
themselves. Jews in all of the
free nations of the world will
r_tontinue to voice their just de-
mand for the basic rights of their
brethren in the Soviet Union."
Rabbi Miller delivered the major
address at the Florida Friends
of Yeshiva University Heritage

A planeload of Russian Jews—
the fourth in a week—landed at
Lydda Airport last Thursday after-
noon. The chartered El Al jet
brought immigrants from Moscow,
Riga, Tzernovitz and Leningrad
who were picked up at Vienna.
Officials of the absorption ministry
were at the airport to greet the
newcomers and dispatch them to
absorption centers all over the
Aleksandr Zhenin, the Moldavian
Jewish engineer arrested a few
days ago after Hebrew books and
recordings in his home were con-
fiscated, has been sent to a mental
asylum in Kishinev, the Jewish
Telegraphic Agency learned :
He was sent there when he start-
ed a hunger strike in jail.
A Jewish source said that when
the Soviet authorities commit a
person to an asylum when he does
not belong there, it is to drug him
so as to "break him mentally."
A Soviet Jewess, who had ap-
plied for emigration to Israel and
was arrested in Odessa Dec..7 for
"Zionist activities," is still being
interrogated and is continuing to
refuse to talk until her questioners
cease what she calls their "bru-
tality," according to Jewish
The woman, Reiza Palatnek, 35,
is demanding that they abide by
the Soviet law prohibiting brutal
interrogation. She was sent to a
mental home, but the doctors said
she did not belong there.
An informed. Israeli source said
that 90 per cent of the visa appli-
cations submitted by Russian Jews
are turned down by Soviet authori-
The source said that Jews seek-
ing exit. papers must undergo a
long and arduous process which
subjects them to public scorn, and
sometimes divides their families.

The source agreed that Soviet
Jewish emigration during the
month of March was "very
good" considering the circum-
stances and said April also was
likely to be a "good" month. But
thereafter, it is not clear how
matters will develop and there
is fear here that Soviet authori-
ties will again clamp severe re-
strictions on the departure of

Many Israelis believe the rela-
tively liberal policy of the past
month was intended to create the
impression of ongoing Jewish emi-
gration and to prevent the sight of
Jewish demonstrators on Moscow's
streets during the Soviet Commu-
nist Party Congress.
According to Israeli sources. the
recent French press agency report
that the Soviets intend to permit
300,000 Jews to leave during the
next few years was a deliberate
The sources observed that most
of the Jews now getting visas come
from the big cities of the Baltic
states and the Russian Republic
where there are many Western
newsmen and tourists.
In contrast, hardly any visas are
issued to Jews in the remote Geor-
gian Republic who, from an econo-
mic standpoint. are more "ex-
pendable" to the Soviet Union.
Conclave Urges USSR to Abandon
Impending Trial; 70 Jews

Make Protest to Kremlin

LONDON (JTA) — A resolution
urging the Soviet Union to abandon
the impending trials of Jews was
adopted by a substantial majority
at the annual conference of the
United Nations Association at
(The conference, after heated de-
bate, also adopted a resolution on
the Middle East which, among
other things, called for the estab-
lishment of a "secular state of
The resolution on Soviet Jewry
was submitted by the British sec-
tion of the World Jewish Congress.
In addition to abandonment of the
trials, it called for the release of
Jews under arrest and permission
for them to emigrate.
A petition urging the USSR to
end discrimination against Jews
and to grant them emigration
rights was delivered to the Soviet
Embassy by a delegation repre-
senting the British Zionist Federa-
The delegation, headed by Lord
Janner, was received by the em-
bassy's political secretary, Leonid

Meanwhile, reports reaching
here from Moscow said that 70
Soviet Jews have sent letters to
Kremlin leaders protesting the
arrest of a large group of Jew-
ish petitioners March 26 at the
offices of the Soviet chief prose-
cutor Roman A. Rudenko. The
petitioners were seeking infor-
mation on the fate of Jewish
prisoners awaiting trial on al-
leged hijack plot charges.

In Washington, a New Jersey
congressman introduced a resolu-
tion urging President Nixon to
"exert diplomatic pressure" on the
Soviet government to permit Rus-
sian Jews to emigrate to Israel or
any other country willing to receive
them. Rep. Peter W. Rodino, a
Democrat from Newark, said on
the House floor, "It is the moral
responsibility of this nation" to
persuade the Soviet government
"to cease their educational, reli-
gious, employment and cultural
persecution of Soviet Jewry." Ro-
dino is chairman of the House
Judiciary Committee's subcommit-
tee on immigration.
An American scientist was ex-
pelled from the Soviet Union on
March 24 for having "collected
slanderous information from per-
sons described as 'Zionists and
other elements,' " the State De-
partment disclosed.

Department spokesman Charles

Bray identified the scientist as

Dr. David Viglirchio, 45, a nema-
tologist (specialist in parasitic

worms) at the University of Cali-
fornia at Davis, who had arrived
in the Soviet Union last Nov. 24
for a six-month stay under the
Soviet-American scientific ex•
change agreement.

Bray could not confirm if Dr.
Viglirchio is Jewish. He said the
scientist and his wife were on their
way back home to Madeira, Calif.,
by way of Teheran and Tokyo.
Bray reported that Dr. Viglir-
chio claimed no knowledge of hav-
ing made contact with Zionists
while in Moscow working at the
Academy of Sciences.
He said that Valentin Kamenev,
cultural counselor at the Soviet
Embassy, was told by the State
Department that the "absurd
charges" against Dr. Viglirchio
were "a crude attempt to discour-
age scientific contact between So-
viet and Western scientists," and
that "expulsion of exchanges on
insubstantial grounds is detrimen-
tal to the program."
There are nine American scien-
tists remaining in the USSR, ac-
cording to the State Department.
Bray said Dr. Viglirchio was sub-
jected to "a minute personal
search" before leaving Moscow.
but that it was not yet known if
any materials were confiscated.

Dr. Haim Renert, a Jewish
gynecologist reported to have
been arrested in Tzernowitz, the
Ukraine, two weeks ago, has
been sentenced to five years in
prison for allegedly attempting
to bribe his way to an emigration
visa, the Jewish Telegraphic
agency learned. It was not known
if Dr. Renert, 48, admitted the
charges. He was known to have
applied unsuccessfully for an
exit visa.

rium on arms supplies to Egypt cards and forced Jews off, it was
or the dismantling of Soviet milk- said. Those resisting were report-
tary installations and the removal edly sentenced to 14 days' im-
of its personnel from Egyptian ter- prisonment. (Related story Page
ritory. What Brezhnev actually 11).
had in mind, they said, was to
spotlight American and Israeli
"aggressions." His specific refer _ 10—friday, April 9, 1971
ences to the Middle East followed
a familiar line. He attributed the
crisis in that region to "Israel's
attack on the UAR, Syria and Jor-
dan." He said the Soviet Union
and other "fraternal socialist coun-
tries" had helped restore the de-
fense potential of the Arab states
and pledged that "the Soviet
Union will continue its firm sup-
port of its Arab friends."
Brezhnev made no reference to
rising Jewish demands for human
and emigration rights in the Soviet
Union or to dissent generally with-
in the borders of the USSR.
it was learned that the Soviet
authorities have taken every pos-
sible action to prevent a Jewish
demonstration during the Commu-
nist Party Congress.
Special security police units have
been patroling the trains to that
city and forcibly removing all Jews
suspected of planning demonstra-
tions, it was reported.
The special police first advised
the Jewish passengers over loud-
10500 W. 8 MILE ROAD
speakers to get off the trains, and
when they did not, the police board-
ed the trains, asked or identity






It also has been learned that
two noted Soviet Jewish film direc-
tors, Mikhail Kalik and Yesin
Sevela, have been expelled from
the Soviet Union's cinema workers'
association. Such action is barred
by the association's rules unless
the persons involved are consulted
on charges against them, which
was not done in the case of Kalik
and Sevela, who have applied for
emigration permission. The two
originally joined the association at
its invitation.
The murder of a Russian Jewish
scholar last November has been
confirmed here by Russian
The scholar, identified only as
Dr. Michelson, was said last week
to have been shot and killed in
Minsk, Belorussia, by a mentally
ill, rabid anti-Semite. It was re-
ported that he was killed at his

Brezhnev: Middle East on His
Mind at Party Congress

LONDON (JTA)—Soviet Commu-
nist Party Secretary Leonid I.
Brezhnev called for the elimina-
tion of "the hotbeds of war in
Southeast Asia and in the Middle
East" and the promotion of "a
political settlement in these areas
on the basis of respect for the
legitimate rights of states and peo-
ples subject to aggression." In his
report to the 24th Soviet Commu-
nist Party Congress, in Moscow,
Brezhnev reiterated the Soviet gov-
ernment's readiness "to join other
powers who are permanent mem-
bers of the Security Council in pro-
viding international guarantees for
a political settlement in the Mid-
dle East."
Observers said there was no in-
dication that Brezhnev was actual-
ly considering a Soviet morato-

Kashrut Goes Organic

AUSTIN (JTA) — Jewish stu-
dents who combine observance of
the Jewish dietary laws with the
movement toward consumption of
"organic" foods can meet both
needs at a Hillel house facility at
the University of Texas. The facil-
ity is called "Sattva" and special-
izes in vegetarian food, served
cafeteria style. A typical meal was
described as made up of brown
rice, bean soup, vegetables and
whole wheat bread.

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