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June 03, 1983 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-06-03

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Soviet Jewish Activist Jailed

NEW YORK (JTA) — Lev
Elbert, one of Kiev's leading
Jewish activists, was sen-
tenced to one year in a
Labor camp for "evasion of
an army reserve call-up
notice," according to the
Student Struggle for Soviet
Jewry and Union of Coun-
cils for Soviet Jews.
Elbert 'is a 35-year-old
engineer and translator.
He, his wife and son, have
sought exit to Israel for nine
years.
In a related development,
the vice chairman of the
Greater New York Confer-
ence on Soviet Jewry, Rabbi
Haskel Lookstein, said that
continued restrictions on
Soviet Jewish emigration
and the oppression of Soviet
Jewish cultural activities
"places them in terrible
danger."
Speaking to some 75
persons at the 34th an-
nual meeting of the New
York Association for
New Americans
(NYANA) last Sunday,
Lookstein said that
"Jews in Russia are
neither permitted to live
Jewishly nor to emigrate
to lands where they
might live as they wish.
The resulting pressure
places them in terrible
danger."
The NYANA, founded in
1949, is the principal
Jewish agency responsible
for resettling Jewish refu-
gees in the New York met-
ropolitan area. The annual
meeting elected Paul Alter
of New York as president for
the year 1983-1984.
In Washington, recent as-
sertions by former
President Richard Nixon
and former Secretary of
State, Henry Kissinger,.
that the Jackson-Vanik
amendment to the Foreign
Trade Act is a deterrent to
detente between the
U.S.and the Soviet Union
and to Soviet Jewish emig-
ration was rejected by a
noted scholar on the Soviet
Union.
Dr. William Korey, direc-
tor of policy research for the
International Council of
Bnai Brith, declared in a
paper presented at the an-
nual spring meeting of the
Bnai Brith International
Board of Governors, that
contrary to that thesis, the
Jackson-Vanik amendment
would strengthen and
legitimize detente by "hold-
ing it accountable to fun-
damental principles of in-
ternational and human
conduct" and emphasize the
U.S. commitment to human
rights.
He added that the
amendment, which- ties
benefits, including most-
favored-nation (MFN)
trade status treatment,
credits and investment
guarantees to the re-
moval of obstacles to
emigration from the
Soviet Union and Eastern
bloc nations, had a deci-
sive and positive effect on
Soviet Jewish emigration
even before the measure
was enacted into law in
1975.
Nixon wrote in an article
last summer that Jewish

emigration from the Soviet
Union jumped from 1,000 in
1968 to 35,000 in 1973.
This, he said, was due to
"private pressure" or "quiet
diplomacy." He said the
Soviets want what the
Western nations produce
and are willing to give up
something to get it. How-
ever, he emphasized "they
will give up more in private
than they will in public."
The former President
charged that the Jackson-
Vanik amendment put the
Soviets on the spot publicly
by tying trade to emigration
policies. Consequently, he
added, Jewish emigration
plummeted.
Kissinger, meanwhile, in
his memoirs, "Years of Up-
heaval," echoed Nixon's
viewpoint although the two
apparently split on the
theory of linkage.
In his article, Nixon
wrote, "The key is to
make very clear to them
(the USSR) that there is
an iron link between
their behavior and the
West's willingness to
make the trade deals they
hope for while not doing
so in such a way that they
lose face."
Kissinger rejected trade
linkage to internal Soviet
behavior, stating that lin-
kage was acceptable to in-
ternational conduct, not
domestic behavior.
Korey, in his study, found
that the early rise in Jewish
emigration had little to do
with diplomacy.
He credits the increase to
"the extraordinary courage
of Soviet Jewish activists
whose exodus movement,
stimulated by a growing
anti-Semitism, could not
and would not be halted by
. . . Soviet judicial trials
and harsh sentences im-
posed in late 1970 and 1971"
and resulting "massive out-
cry of world public opinion."
Besides international
public outcry for easing
of emigration restrictions
in the Soviet Union,
Korey asserted that the
Kremlin was also pro-
dded by its desire for de-
tente. The Soviets sought
detente, Korey said, in
order to defuse interna-
tional tensions, stabilize
the status quo in Central
and Eastern Europe, and
obtain extensive trade
with Western industrial
powers, especially the
U.S. However, as long as
the right to emigrate was
not respected, "dis-
cussions leading to de-
tente would inevitably be
strained," Korey said.
Thus the doors to Jewish
emigration were opened
further, as the number of
Jews seeking to emigrate
increased three fold, the
Kremlin imposed a "dip-
loma tax," which required
emigrants to pay an exor-
bitant sum, supposedly in
compensation for the cost of
their education, according
to Korey.
It was at this time that
the amendment linking
trade benefits with the re-
moval of obstacles to emig-
ration was proposed by Sen.
Henry Jackson (D-Wash.).

NOTICE TO OUR CUSTOMERS:

Concluding, Korey as-
serts that the Jackson
Vanik amendment serves
two crucial functions: First,
it does not obstruct the flow
of immigration; 'rather it
emphasizes and symbolizes
America's commitment to
human rights. And second,
it legitimizes detente by
holding it accountable to
fundamental principles of
international and human
conduct. "To do otherwise
would make a mockery of
the process," Korey de-
clared.

In 1944, HIAS helped
bring Yemenite Jews from
Aden and Bokharan Jews
from the Soviet Union to
Palestine.

Friday, June 3, 1983 21

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