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June 22, 1984 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-06-22

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

24

Friday, June 22, 1984

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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New York (JTA) — Ale- similate or to leave. Neither
xander Yakir, the 29-year- option seems possible at the
old son of long-term re- present time," the 37-year-
fuseniks Evgeny and old credit analyst, now an
Rimma Yakir, was arrested American citizen, said
in Moscow on Monday, ac- while relating his harass-
cording to the Greater New ment after filing an applica-
York Conference on Soviet tion for an exit visa from the
Jewry. Yakir, an electrical Soviet Union.
Eight experts on regional
engineer, is being charged
with refusing military serv- religious issues, religious
issues in specific countries,
ice.
The Yakirs first applied and law and practices of the
for exit visas to Israel in Warsaw Pact states tes-
1973, and were refused on tified before the committee
the grounds that the senior chaired by Sens. Charles
Yakir's routine work as a Percy (R-Ill.) and Claiborne
mechanical engineer was Pell (D-R.I.), who are co-
secret. He was subsequently sponsors of the bill.
In his opening remarks,
fired from his job, and the
family has been subjected to Percy emphasized the need
considerable KGB harass- for regular summit confer-
ment throughout the past ences between the leaders of
the United States and the
decade.
In spite of Soviet persecu- Soviet Union.
Dr. William Korey, direc-
tion, the Yakirs have par-
ticipated in informal Jewish tor of International Policy
cultural and religious ac- Research of the B'nai B'rith
tivities with fellow Moscow International Policy Coun-
refuseniks.
cil, told the panel, "the
If convicted on the charge plight of Soviet Jews has
of refusing military service, reached crisis proportions
the younger Yakir could which warrant the urgent
face from one to three years attention of the interna-
in prison.
tional community."
In Washington, Rep. Ben-
Korey said the most criti-
jamin Gilman (R-N.Y.) in- cal aspects of their plight
troduced a bill in the House are: anti-Semitism in the
instructing the U.S. delega- Soviet mass media; anti-
tion to raise the issue of Jewish discrimination in
Soviet violations of interna- higher education and em-
tional laws governing the ployment; the official drive
mails at the 19th Congress against the study and teach-
of the Universal Postal ing of the Hebrew language
Union (UPU) which opened and Jewish history; the cur-
Tuesday in Hamburg, West rent attempt to sever links
Germany.
between Soviet Jews and
The bill also asks the their brethren abroad; and
UPU to consider the viola- the virtual halting of
tions and possible sanctions Jewish emigration.
against the violators. A
Dr. Ernest Gordon,
similar measure was intro- president of the Christian
duced in the Senate recently Rescue Effort for the Eman-
by Rudy Boschwitz (R- cipation of Dissidents
Minn.)
(CREED), described Soviet
Gilman's bill is the result repression against Evangel-
of year-long hearings in ical Christians, Menno-
New York City on "Soviet nites, Baptists and Pen-
mail sabotage" at which tecostals. "The Communist
witnesses representing dominated countries of
Christian, Jewish, Ukrai- Eastern Europe seem to fol-
nian, Russian-American low the same pattern as that
and professional and aca- initiated by the Soviet
demic groups testified that Union," Gordon stated.
the Soviet authorities were
Meanwhile, in spite of the
deliberately interfering searing heat, dozens of Con-
with the overseas mails.
gressmen gathered along
The American Jewish with human rights activists
Committee appealed to the and clergymen on the steps
chairman of the House Sub- of the U.S. Capitol last week
committee on Postal Opera- to demonstrate their opposi-
tions and Services to try to tion to the Soviet Union's
persuade the Soviet Union harassment and repression
to stop obstructing the de- of Soviet Jews and other
livery of mail from the minorities there.
West.
In all, some 300 people
In Washington, Yuli Tar- participated in the second
takovsky testified at hear- • annual Congressional Fast
ings before the Senate and Prayer Vigil for Soviet
Fireign Relations Commit- Jewry.
tee on protecting and prom- • The demonstration, one of
oting religious rights in the largest Congressional
Eastern Europe and the protests in support of Soviet
Soviet Union. The hearings Jewry ever held, was spon-
are related to a bill intro- sored by Reps. John Porter
duced in the Senate on June (R-Ill.), Robert Mrazek (D-
7.
N.Y.), and Jack Kemp (R-
"For most Jews there are N.Y.) and Sens. Carl Levin
only two alternatives: to as- (D-Mich.) and John Heinz

(R-Pa.); and Rep. Tom Lan-
tos (D-Calif.).
President Reagan, in a
message sent to the vigil,
said the repressive policies
of the Soviet authorities,
"violates the standards of
behavior which are incum-
bent upon all governments
and are enshrined in inter-
national covenants. All
Americans should join in
the prayerful efforts to sup-
port those struggling to
exercise their fundamental
rights. We will continue to
seek opportunities to
encourage the Soviet Union
to respect the human rights
and to restore the indi-
vidual dignity of Soviet
Jews."
In New York ten re-
fuseniks, who have been
trying in vain, for more
than a decade to obtain exit
visas in order to immigrate
to Israel, called on the Israel
government and world
Jewry for help, in a petition
made public by the National
Conference on Soviet Jewry
(NCSJ).
The signatories to thepet-
ition, dated May 5, are: Ar-
kady Mai and his wife,
Helen Seidel; Aleksandr
Lerner; Vladimir Slepak;
Abe Stolar; Naum Kogan;
and Lev Ovsishcher, all of
Moscow; the brothers Isai
and Grigory Goldstein of
Tbilisi; and Dmitry
Golenko, of Tashkent.
In a related development,
a new book, whose
authorship is attributed to
the chairman of the Anti-
Zionist Committee of the
Soviet Public, Gen. David
Dragunsky, and which con-
tinues the attack on
"Zionist propaganda," has
been issued in Moscow, the
World Jewish Congress re-
ported.
According to WJC
monitoring sources in Lon-
don, Tess reported that
Dragunsky's book — What
Letters Tell About —
analyzes letters sent to the
anti-Zionist Committee and
was published in Moscow by
the Novosti Press Agency.
The book allegedly quotes
letters to Soviet citizens of
Jewish nationality ad-
dressed to the author. Tass
stated that in these letters
Soviet Jews "come out
against the attempts of the
bourgeois propaganda to
impose Israel upon them as
their-homeland."
The book also includes
letters "from those who
yielded to the Zionist prop-
aganda and , sentenced
themselves into exile."
These letters, Tass noted
"denounce Zionism and
condemns the Zionist
ringleaders."
Dragunsky wrote that
most of those who had sub-
mitted applications ex-
pressing their desire to
leave for Israel had in fact

.

no intention to go there and
settled in Western Europe,
North America, and even in
Australia. As for those who
reached the "promised
land," he said, they are usu-
ally quick to leave it.
In New York, a press con-
ference that was to take
place with Aaron Vergalis,
editor of the Soviet Yiddish
language periodical
Sovietische Heimland, was
abruptly cancelled to the
surprise of journalists who
packed a room in the World
Church Center across from
the United Nations.
The cancellation was at-
tributed to a sudden illness
that pievented Vergalis
from appearing, an expla-
nation that was greeted
with skepticism by the as-
sembled reporters.
The Union of Councils for
Soviet Jews reported that in
response to the enormous
outcry by the Western world
to the March 20 Odessa
raids on Russian Jewish
homes, confiscated religious
items including mezuzot,
menorahs and challah
cover. The KGB .conducted
the search under th guise of
looking for weapons.

Israeli envoy
meets with
U.S. officials

Washington (JTA) —
Meir Rosenne, Israel's Am-
bassador to the United
States, met for nearly two
hours last Thursday "in a
very cordial and warm at-
mosphere" with Secretary
of State George Shultz,
Under Secretary for Politi-
cal Affairs Michael Arma-
cost and Assistant Secre-
tary of State Richard Mur-
phy, the Israeli Embassy
said.
The luncheon meeting at
the State Department was
at the invitation of Shultz.
Rosenne later met for 45
minutes with Vice
President George Bush to
discuss current events in
the Middle East in a meet-
ing that was also described
as "very cordial" by an em-
bassy official. A State De-
partment spokesman had
not comment on the content
of the meetings last week.

U.S. Jews
on the move

New York (ZINS) — The
sun belt states of the south
and west are, now home
for one-third of America's
Jews, according to the 1984
American Jewish Yearbook.
The states with the
largest Jewish populations
in 1983 were New York,
1,869,190; California,
789,260; and Florida,
479,180.

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