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February 01, 1985 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-02-01

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

For Men & women

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BRAND NAME
SHOES & BOOTS

Bronfman Will Meet With Soviets
To Raise Jewish Emigration Question

Vienna (JTA) — World Jewish
Congress President Edgar
Bronfman revealed his plans to go
to the Soviet Union towards the
end of March for talks with Soviet
officials in his dual capacity of
business executive and a leader of
Diaspora Jewry. He is the head of
Joseph Seagram and Sons Co.
Bronfman told a news confer-
ence at the Hilton Hotel in Vie-
nna, where the WJC governing
board is winding up its three-day
meeting, that the Soviets had ex-
tended him an invitation to visit
in both capacities and he was
practically on his way just before
Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev
died.
The timing of his visit,
Bronfman told reporters, "is bet-
ter now than at any other (recent)
time because the United States
and the Soviet Union are begin-
ning to talk, and things are now in
a state of thaw."
He expressed the view that the
situation of Soviet Jewry fluc-
tuates with the state of relations
between the two superpowers.
"Soviet Jews are basically hos-
tage to the cold war and the
U.S.-USSR climate," he said. If
there is a relaxation of tension on
other issues, a relaxation of the
situation of Soviet Jews "will be
much easier to accomplish."
There was also discussion at
that meeting of Bronfman's pro-
posal that a traveling exhibit
from the collection of Jewish
documents and artifacts in the
Leningrad archives be brought to
the United States as part of some

Edgar Bronfman

kind of cultural exchange pro-
gram. The suggestion met with
some enthusiasm and Bronfman
hopes to pursue it further in Mos-
cow.
Morris Abram, chairman of the
National Conference on Soviet
Jewry, welcomed the idea for the
Bronfman trip.
But he warned that if Bronfman
receives only "token gestures,"
his visit would serve only as
"propaganda" for the Soviet
Union rather than be a means of
easing the plight of Soviet Jewry.
Meanwhile, the WJC received
an appeal, telephoned to Vienna,
from four Jews in Moscow and
four in Leningrad, who described
themselves as "Jews with Israeli
citizenship who are being de-
tained in the USSR." Their appeal
read:

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Congressman Sander M. Levin, right, and Union of Councils for Soviet
Jews -National President Morey Schapira, center, congratulate
Pennsylvania Congressman Lawrence Coughlin as he receives a UCSJ
award for his work as 1984 chairman of the Congressional Call to
Conscience for Soviet Jews. Congressman Levin is the 1985
Co-Chairman of the Congressional Call to Conscience for Soviet Jews
serving with co-chairman Sen. Rudy Boschwitz of Minnesota.

"We would like to draw your at-
tention to our critical situation in
the USSR — the authorities
closed the borders for our repatri-
ation and reinforced the repres-
sion. Unfortunately not all the
Jews in the world are yet aware of
our unbearable situation, which
is not only our problem, but the
problem of all Jews in the world."
The appeal concluded with a call
to the WJC to take all steps to
"save us."
The appeal was signed by
Dmitry Chazankin, Inna
Brochina, Igor Kharakh and Gre-
gory Rifkin of Moscow; and Yakov
Gorodetzky, Boris Zelkin,
Mikhail Zivin and Mikhail
Winaver of Leningrad.
In Washington, optimism was
expressed that despite the almost
total shutoff of Soviet Jewish
emigration and the officially-
sanctioned anti-Semitism in the
USSR, including physical vio-
lence against Jews, the renewal of
United States-Soviet arms talks
could lead to increased emigra-
tion and less repression for Soviet
Jews.
This feeling as well as the need
to continue the struggle here was
expressed to the more than 150
aides of U.S. Representatives and
Senators who attended the bi-
ennial congressional briefing of
the Union of Councils for Soviet
JeWs on Capitol Hill. Many Con-
gressmen and Senators also made
appearances.
Elliott AbramS, assistant secre-
tary of state for human rights and
humanitarian affairs, stressed
that the issue of Soviet Jewry has
been raised by the Reagan Ad-
ministration at even high level
meeting with the Soviet Union,
including the meeting in Geneva
earlier this month between Secre-
tary of State George Shultz and
Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei
Gromyko. He said the issue will
be raised at the forthcoming nu-
clear arms talks.
Reagan had named Max Kam-
pelman as the head of the U.S.
negotiating team for the upcom-
ing arms talks with the Soviet
Union since, as the head of the

U.S. delegation to the Madrid
talks reviewing the Helsinki
agreements, Kampelman had
been outspoken in his criticism of
Soviet human rights violations
including those against Soviet
Jewry.
Avital Shcharansky, wife of
imprisoned Soviet Jew Anatoly
Shcharansky noted that on the
second day of the Shultz-Gromyko
talks, the Soviet government an-
nounced that Shcharansky's
mother and brother could visit
him for two days in his prison
camp, something they have not
allowed in the eight years he has
been imprisoned. She said he also
has now begun receiving the med-
ical treatment and medicine he
had needed.
In a related development, six
refuseniks in Moscow are the
latest targets of the Soviet war
against Jewish activism, the
Greater New York Conference on
Soviet Jewry reported.
According to the GNYCSJ, the
homes of Natasha Beckman,
Dmitri and Inna Khazankin, Dan
Shapira, Alla Khazankin (Shap-
ira's fiancee and Dmitri Khazan-
kin's sister), Inna Vilenskaya,
and the parents of Inna Khazan-
kin were searched and dozens of
Hebrew books and personal pos-
sessions were seized. Shapira was
arrested and is being held by
Soviet authorities.

The GNYCSJ noted that four of
those searched were related, and
that Inna Vilenskaya is the fiance
of Igor Kharach, a close friend of
the Khazankin family. In mid-
1984, Kharach, Shapira and
Dmitri Khazankin signed an ap-
peal to the Soviet authorities cal-
ling for the repatriation of Jews to
their homeland, Israel.

Anticipating this, Kharach
sent a letter to the Soviet
authorities saying that he knows
they plan to arrest him for his de-
sire to live in Israel, and re-
quested information on what they
planned to charge him with so
that he could begin to prepare his
defense.

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