Sen. Griffin Joins Efforts For Yiddish on VOA
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
30—Friday, July 23, 1971
their native language, including
1,300,000 Estonians, 1,900,000 I Bar Mitzvas, Weddings
Latvians, 2,730,000 Lithuanians,
and special occassiens
2,830,000 Georgians and 2,910,-
Griffin said he viewed the reso-
lution as evidence of the deep con-
cern in the U. S. Senate about the
plight of Soviet Jews. The resolu-
For an Evening of
tion, he said, is a means for making
Superb Entertainment . . .
this concern known throughout the
For Your Bar Mitzva or
Weddings, etc. . . .
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■041■0■111. 1 ■ •■ ■ ,
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European Affairs Martin Hillen-
brand and the acting director of
BIG BANDS or
the United States Information
Agency, Henry Loomis, faced nine
angry and determined Congressmen
recently in the nearest thing to a
showdown over the refusal of the
Voice of America to beam Yiddish
to 'Soviet ,-Jews. The
E>Ine s, JTA
congressmen expressed' themselves
vehemently in favor of such broad-
(Copyright 19'71, JTA Inc.)
casting and argued with the two
ACHIEVEMENT IN ISRAEL:
Nixon administration officials un-
—they say in Israel as an expression of affirmation of an important til a vote call forced adjournment
20500 JAMES COUZENS
achievement. "Kol Ha:Kovod" they now say in Israel to Samuel L. of the meeting. The administration
(8 Mile & Greenfield—Across from Northland)
Haber, executive vice chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee. officials could not answer most of
Call 342-3000 For the Finest Accommodations
He is being congratulated for his successful efforts to prevent a strike the questions raised. One congress-
of the staff in the JDC-maintained Malben institutions for aged im- man called the meeting "exasper-
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Ever since the establishment of Israel, Histadrut—Israel's Federa-
Rep. John H. Buchanan R.-Ala.)
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tion of Labor—has seen to it that strikes are avoided in the country. answered Hillenbrand's objection
Working closely with the government in the. wider interests of the that the Soviets would view such
state, the Histadrut has used its influence on the labor unions to broadcasting by the U. S. as "en-
settle labor disputes amicably. Strikes, it was realized by all concerned, couraging what they obviously con-
sider a disruptive ethnic minority."
could harm the interests of the entire country.
Recently, however, a xve.ve of strikes has flooded the country. He said: "That would be a healthy
Some of them had the support of the general secretary of the His- and thrilling development." Bu-
tadrut, Yitzhak Ben-Aharon, who is a leader of the same faction to chanan maintained that the U. S.
which Premier Golda 'Mir, Finance Minister Sapir and other members should encourage all groups to ac-
of the Labor-dominated cabinet belong. The government, fearing the tively use their civil and other
inflation which lack of control over wage increases usually brings, has rights and that it was all the more
made its opposition to strikes clear. In this the government was strong- reason to commence such broad-
ly supported by the public. But Ben-Aharon withstood all government
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and public opposition, especially in the case of the employes of the then the group might get clobbered.
Suits, Coats, Dresses, Sportswear!. Bridesmaid and gowns for mother.
The Soviet Union is totally capable
Israel Electric Corporation.
of setting up a counterattack."
As a result, some 5,500 workers in the electric service proclaimed
Rep. William Ryan (D.-N.Y.),
a strike. Some 6,500 government hospital workers — including 1,000
physicians—declared their own strike. There were also strikes in the who arranged the meeting, stressed
26571 W. 12 Mile Rd., Southfield, Mich.
bus services and in other fields. A greater sense of insecurity was the counter-arguments to USIA's
(1/2 Block West of Northwestern Hwy.)
'felt among the population over the strikes than over the situation on vinion that such broadcasting
Mon.-Sat. 10 'til 5:30
the:battle-fronts. The losses caused by the strikes reached over 100 would require new transmitters •
million pounds within a few days. The electric strike forced many and were from a practical stand-
industries to shut down for the lack of power. In the hospitals, point, impossible. Ryan said that
patients were neglected, the operating rooms did not function and seven VOA transmitters were idle
during prime time and could be
many sick persons were sent home in wheel chairs.
used to broadcast to Moscow,
It reached a point where the government—for the first time in where 90 per cent of Soviet Jews
Mr. Arnold's Beauty. College
- Israel's history—had to use its emergency powers. It issued an order live.
to the striking hospital employes to return at once to their jobs. The
electric workers, realizing that public sentiment was against them,
Rep. Joshua Eilberg (D.-Pa.)
also returned to work. This, however, did not prevent the workers at emphasized the psychological boost
WITH THIS COUPON
Lydda Airport from staging a "warning strike" for several hours such broadcasts would provide.
825 W. NINE MILE, FERNDALE
upsetting flight schedules and causing great inconveniences to the Hillenbrand replied that such
thousands of American visitors who landed—or were to depart—dur- beardcasts "would do nothing to
ing these hours. I was caught among them.
improve the relationship between
the Soviet authorities and the Rus-
sian Jews." He said the State Da-
THE JDC PROBLEM: In the midst of all this turbulence the Joint partment accepted USIA statistical
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We also take requests
ar.Distribution Committee was threatened in Israel with a strike by the data that Russian Jews • can be
1,000 employes in its Malben institutions. The threat was serious, reached in languages other than
although it was hardly reasonable that the Malben staff—which has Yiddish, and that it would be dif-
always been treated generously by the JDC—should paralyze the ficult from a practical point of
services for aged and helpless people for whom the Malben institu- view to institute such broadcasting.
tions are the only haven.
Loomis conceded that instituting
Haber was sent from New York by the JDC leadership to see such broadcasting could be done
what could be done to avert the threatened strike. He came to Israel if VOA thought "it deserved high
and started negotiations with the leaders of the Malben staff—all priority," implying that it does
hard-boiled union men. The more generosity he seemed to display in not think so at this time.
the negotiations, the higher the demands of the union leaders. Some
Rep. Buchanan, a former Bir-
of these demands were completely out of line. Not to speak of the fact
mingham, Ala., pastor, told the
that the JDC is not a private enterprise but a public philanthropic JTA that he is interested in the
issue of Soviet Jewry because he
To the aid of Haber came the local JDC directors, Harold Trobe has "intense admiration for what
and Ralph Goldmann, who conduct the day-to-day operations in Israel. the Jewish community has done
for the rights of others."
Participating in the negotiations also was Louis D. Horowitz, JDC
director general for overseas operations, who came from his head-
The Alabama Republican has
quarters in Geneva. Histadrut leader Ben-Aharon displayed sympathy been one of the most vocal con-
with Haber's efforts. However, the -negotiations brought no results. gressmen on the issue of Voice
The union leaders of the Malben staff were stubborn in their demands. of America broadcasting in Yid-
They showed no signs of flexibility even when Haber left them and dish. He said that he was "not
returned to New York to report on their readiness to strike.
very impressed" with the argu-
A second trip by Haber to Israel with final conditions backed ments against Yiddish broadcasts
by the JDC leadership apparently convinced the potential strikers presented to the Congress by
that they would have nothing to gain if they struck except con- Loomis and Hillenbrand at the pri-
demnation on the part of public for leaving old people unattended. A vate meeting. Buchanan maintained
skillful negotiator, Haber finally succeeded. No strike occurred and that VOA broadcasting in Yiddish
would give Soviet Jews "recogni-
the negotiations were concluded to the satisfaction of all involved.
tion they so clearly deserve." He
The Malben institutions here have been spared the frightening condemned the Soviet's "unique
conditions which prevailed during the four-day strike in the 20 gov- discrimination against Jews as an
ernment hospitals. The negotiations with the 6,500 government hospital ethnic entity." He said that he
employes are still going on, but the talks on the Malben front are planned to pursue the issue with
over. Most grateful are the aged inmates of . Malben. What would Nixon administration officials and
have happened • to them if the strike was not averted is not -hard hoped that the administration
wauid, -..c..ange. its,. mi nd .
It points out that Voice of Amer-
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U. S.
Senator Robert P. Griffin (R.- ica broadcasts in Yiddish "would
Mich.) is co-sponsor of the reso- bring to the Soviet Union's Jewish
lution urging Voice of America to citizens knowledge of the world-
broadcast in Yiddish to the 3,000,- wide sympathy for their plight
and of the worldwide support for
000 Jews in the Soviet Union.
their being allowed religious and
The resolution states that "the cultural freedom as well as free-
government of the Soviet Union dom to emigrate."
is persecuting Jewish citizens and
imposing restrictions that prevent Voice
the reuniting of Jews with their many Soviet minority groups in
families in other lands."
. and Me'
Crwthreek Noise Afotel
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