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April 20, 1973 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-04-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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105 Soviet, Jews Urge Congress Not to Be Misled by 'Removal' of Exit Visa Tax

WASHINGTON — More
than 100 Soviet Jews who
have been refused exit visas
to Israel appealed to Con-
gress in an open letter not
to be misled by an apparent

lifting of high emigration
taxes.
In making public the ap-
peal at a news conference in
Moscow, 10 Jewish activists
contended that Soviet emigra-
tion curbs remained un-
changed and that exit permits
Friday, April 20, 1973-15 were being granted on a very
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
selective basis.

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Jewish emigres arriving in
Israel from the Soviet Union
have reported that Russian
authorities are no longer de-
manding the exorbitant di-
ploma tax but expressed the
view that its suspension is
only temporary and that the
tax would probably be re-
newed after Soviet Com-
munist Party Secretary Leo-
nid Brezhnev's visit to Wash-
ington this summer.
The immigrants, who land-
ed on Passover eve, said
that most Jews applying for
exit visas get them although
it may take 2-3 months until
they receive a reply from
the ovir (visa bureau). They
reported, however, that in
some cases, Soviet authori-
ties make every possible ef-
fort to prevent the departure
of Jews. They accuse them
of offenses, refuse to issue
the necessary permits, and
many are sent to jail. They
said that young people who
have completed their mili-
tary service must wait for
4-5 years after their dis-
charge to leave.

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Senate Republican leader
Hugh Scott told a Washing-
ton press conference Wed-
nesday that the U.S. had
been notified by the Soviet
Union of the "suspension" of
the exit visa tax.

Sen. Scott acknowledged
that the decree remains on
the books. But he said "two
formal written communica-
tions" from Soviet officials
to the U. S. government
"make it very obvious it is
an ongoing and continuing
suspension, very clearly not
a temporary action."
He added that President
Nixon is concerned about any
congressional act "which
would cause the Russians to
change their present policy
of restraint in Southeast
Asia, the Middle East and
the Western Hemisphere" or
to reverse what he termed
the Soviets' "present policy"
of permitting 95 per cent of
all requests for exit visas go
through.
Sen. Henry M. Jackson
(D-Wash.), author of the
amendment which would
prohibit U. S. trade 'conces-
sions to the Soviets as long
as they deny the right to
emigrate freely, dismissed
the latest Soviet action as a
"misrepresentation" and said
he was standing firm on his
amendment.
In presenting the open let-
ter to Congress, signed by
105 Moscow Jews, journalist
Kirill Henkine recalled an-
other appeal last month by
more than 300 persons from
several cities asking for con-
gressional help.
"The decline in numbers
reflects our deteriorating sit-
uation," he said. "Because
of intimidation and surveil-
lance, it has become increas-
ingly difficult to collect sig-
natures outside Moscow."
"Just as before, the fate
of all applicants for exit
visas is not determined by
any law or even any pub-
lished regulations governing
emigration," the letter said.
"Everyone's fate is deter-
mined by unknown people
acting on unknown consider-
ations in a totally arbitrary
way.

.... .

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"It is not the education
tax, but this arbitrariness
that remains the chief meth-
od used by the Soviet author.
ities in their selective emi-
gration policy."

An analysis of the social
structure of Jewish emi-
grants has shown, the letter
to Congress said, that many
of the 2,000 or so persons
leaving the Soviet Union each
month are people with little
education or low professional
skills from such areas as
Georgia, central Asia and
Moldavia. Many were said to
be ailing or elderly or to
have been working in service
industries.
On the other' hand, the let-
ter said, visas were often re-
fused to skilled professionals,
especially in the pure sci-
ences and in engineering,
which are viewed as presti-
gious occupations in the So-
viet Union.
Among those present at
the news conference were
Veniam G. Levich, an elec-
trochemist who is a corres-
ponding member of the Acad-
emy of Sciences, Aleksandr
Lerner, a computer special-
ist, and Veniamin P. Gorok-
hov, a screen writer.
Rep. Wilbur Mills (D. Ark.)
chairman of the House Ways
and Means Committee, re-
portedly expressed c o n f i-
dence that the Soviet Union

would terminate its emigra-
tion restrictions during the
next two months.
Mills, co-sponsor with Rep.
Charles Vanik (D-Ohio) of
legislation denying Moscow-
U.S. trade benefits as long
as restrictive measures are
applied, was quoted as say-
ing that Congress would deny
the Soviet most-favored-na-
tion treatment unless the re-
strictions were removed.
In Moscow, several hun-
dren young Jews were dis-
persed by police from the
steps of the Central Syna-
gogue after Passover serv-
ices Monday night, it was re-
ported by Jewish sources.
The youths, who remained
after the services, were herd-
ed by police along Arkhipov.
Street. The crowd sang in
defiance of the police action
and moved slowly along the
street.

applied for visas to emigrate
to Israel.
Dr. Tarassuk, an expert
on European arms and ar-
mor, was similarly dismissed
from his position at the Her-
mitage after applying for
exit visas to Israel for him-
self and his family.

Isaac Shkolnik Sentenced
to 10 Years' Imprisonment

NEW YORK (JTA) Isaac
Shkolnik, a 37-year-old Jew-
ish mechanic in Vinnitsa,
Ukraine, was sentenced to
10 years' imprisonment on
charges of treason and anti-
Soviet propaganda, the Na-
tional Conference on Soviet
Jewry reported. The sentence
was the harshest since the
1970 Leningrad hijack trials.
Shkolnik, who had applied
for a visa to emigrate to Is-
rael, went on trial March 29
in a closed courtroom set up
in a local brick factory. The
Most of the older syna- trial was conducted entirely
gogue congregants had gone in camera.

A detachment of Red Army
troops was dispatched to
guard the courtroom along
with local police. Shkolnik's
wife and other relatives and
Jewish sources in the So- friends were barred from the
proceedings.

home after the services end-
ed around 8 p.m. The youths,
however, remained outside
the synagogue dancing the
hora and singing.

viet Union reported that 50
Moscow Jews went to the
Central Committee of the
Communist Party, crowded
into the reception hall and
handed in a letter of protest
with all their signatures
against harassment of appli-
cants for exit visas to go to
Israel.
According to the sources,
the letter said that freedom
to go to Israel for those who
want it would save both sides
great unpleasantness. They
were told that would get a
reply within a few days.
The American Jewish Con-
gress reported in New York
that it learned in a
telephone conversation with
Moscow Jewish sources that
Nikolai Yavor, a prominent
Jewish activist from Lenin-
grad, was sentenced to one
year's imprisonment on char-
ges of "hooliganism." Yavor
had been granted a visa to
go to Israel and had paid the
diploma tax at the time of
his arrest.
Sen. Jackson sent a letter
to Brezhnev in behalf of
Valery Panov, the renowned
ballet dancer, and his wife,
and in behalf of Dr. Leonid
Tarassuk, formerly a cura-
tor at the famed Hermitage
Museum in Leningrad, and
the Tarassuk family.
Panov was dismissed from
the Kirov Ballet Company,
and has been unable to per-
form anywhere in the Soviet
Union since he and his wife

According to information
reported by the NCSJ, Shkol-
nik's defense attorney warn-
ed him to confess to the
charges or otherwise he
would be sentenced to death.
Shkolnik was originally ac-
cused of spying for Brit-
ain. Shortly before his trial
opened, the charge was
changed to spying for Israel.
Shkolnik's appeal against
his 10-year prison sentence
was scheduled to be heard
Wednesday by the Supreme
Court of the Ukrainian SSW
But up to that point he had
been unable to find a lawyer
to handle his appeal, Jewish
sources in the Soviet Union
reported.
Shkolnik's defense counsel,
Nikolia Marakenko, withdrew
from the case after advising
his client not to appeal.
Shkolnik's wife Feige has
been trying desperately to
find a new lawyer, the
sources said, so far without
success.

The University of Michigan
Law School last year re-
ceived some 5,000 admissions
applications for an entering
class capacity of 370.

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