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July 23, 1982 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-07-23

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Caricatures

c

for your party

By

SAM FIELD

Call

399..1320

Cutoff for Romania Debated

WASHINGTON (JTA) —
Charging that Romania
has "made no concessions or
even gestures . of goodwill"
in its Jewish emigration
policy, the national director
of the Center for Russian
and East European Jewry
has urged the United States
to suspend Romania's Most
Favored Nation (MFN)
status, during hearings of a
House trade subcommittee
on Monday.

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In testimony which chal-
lenged the position by the
Conference of Presidents of
Major American Jewish
Organizations at the same
hearings, Jacob Birnbaum
said he "reluctantly felt
there was no way but to im-
pose a one-year suspension
of MFN status to Romania,
until Bucharest responds
with compliance with the
Jackson Amendment." This
legislation links loans and
trade concessions to Com-
munist nations considered
to have a more liberal emig-
ration policy.
Jack Spitzer, president of
Bnai Brith International,
who testified Monday on
behalf of the Presidents
Conference, advised that
Romania's MFN status be
extended for another year,
despite the concerns of the
conference over delays in
processing Jewish emigra-
tion from that country.
Noting that the rate of
passport approvals by
the Romanian govern-
ment was "com-
paratively high" in May
and June, Spitzer main-
tained that MFN "has
proven to be beneficial to
the Romanian Jewish
community and to the
United States," and that
the Romanians "can
expedite (their) proce-
dures when motivated to
do so."
But Birnbaum told the
committee members that
"emigration obstacles have
increased, and the annual
rate had plummeted from
4,000 to 1,000." He vehe-
mently condemned the
"complacent tone" of the
hearings which he said
"contrasted starkly with the
daily experience" of himself
and his colleagues.
In a separate message to
the Committee, Sen. Henry
Jackson (D-Wash.), author
of the amendment, declared
that "the Romanian emig-
ration to Israel has not met
the expectations some of us
expressed last year."
At the hearings, Rep.
-Robert Dornan (R-Calif.)
announced he had initiated
a Resolution of Disapproval
which would cut off MFN
trade status and loans to
Romania. One of the Trade
Committee members,
Richard Schulze (R-Pa.),
said that he would co-
sponsor the resolution.
Democratic members of the
panel discussed an alterna-
tive of a one-year suspen-
sion, rather than a complete
cutoff of MFN status.
Timed to the hearings
of the committee, a 12-
year refusnik couple in
Bucharest, Dergiu and
Ruxandra Ratescu,
began a hunger strike for
exit visas to Israel.
Birnbaum revealed that

Einstein Bust

NEW YORK (JTA) — A
bronze bust of Albert Eins-
tein by the Finnish sculptor,
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Yeshiva University.

Friday, July 23, 4982 5

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several members of Con-
gress were planning to
phone and cable the
Ratescus to express sup-
port for their fast.
Meanwhile, at a press
conference co-sponsored by
the Center for Russian and
East European Jewry and
the East-West News Service
of California held prior to
the hearnings, Birnbaum
announced the formation of
the North American Coali-
tion for Human Rights in
Romania, which he said in-
cludes Christian groups
"outraged by the increased
persecution of religious
Christians in Romania."

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