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December 11, 1987 - Image 50

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-12-11

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Americans Upbeat, Soviets
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50 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1987



ashington — Short-
ly before Soviet
leader Mikhail Gor-
Washington for talks with
President Ronald Reagan, the
chief Soviet press spokesman
conceded that last Sunday's
massive Soviet Jewry
demonstration in Washington
had succeeded in making its
But Gennadi Gerasimov,
the Soviet Foreign Ministry
spokesman, sought to deflate
the impact of the rally by rais-
ing the Palestinian refugee
question instead. He said that
people at the Madison Hotel,
where much of the official
Soviet delegation is staying,
had asked him following Sun-
day's Soviet Jewry rally
"where are the Palestinians
who are deprived of their
native land, and why didn't
they demonstrate?"
The Soviet spokesman was
responding to a question
about the demonstration,
which was attended by more
than 200,000 people. The
questioner had characterized
it as anti-Soviet.
"I don't think it was an
anti-Soviet demonstration,"
Gerasimov replied in fluent
English. "It was a demonstra-
tion on one issue, on the issue
of Jewish migration. And as
I understand, those who took
part in this demonstration
wanted to make the point,
and I think they did."
The demonstration was the
lead story in major U.S. news-
papers. It was also broadcast
prominently on American
television. But Gerasimov,
like other Soviet officials
here, clearly sought to play
down its importance.
Secretary of State George
Shultz, appearing on NBC's
"Today" show, again pledged
that the Administration
would strongly press the
human rights issue during
the summit. "We're going to
keep calling our shots as we
see them in area after area,"
he said.
But he cautioned against
anticipating any immediate
progress. "I'm sure we won't
be anywhere near what we
consider to be a satisfactory
solution," he said.
In recent days, the Reagan
Administration has repeated-
ly described the Soviet
Union's human rights policy
as being "in flux."
The Administration, in a

Neal Duc hin


Special to The Jewish News

At the Dec. 6 rally: The Soviets wanted to know about the Palestinians.

statement, said that the
situation "has improved dur-
ing the past year, but the
legal underpinnings needed
to assure long-term govern-
ment respect for human
rights and fundamental
freedoms remain inadaquate;
without such a strong legal
framework, human rights
practices too easily can be
relaxed or tightened, accord-
ing to the needs of political
U.S. officials said the entire
human rights question, in-
cluding free emigration for
Soviet Jews and others anx-
ious to leave the country,
would be one of four major
areas of discussion during the
summit. The other three in-
volve arms control issues,
regional problems, and bilat-
eral U.S.-Soviet relations,
especially increased "people-
to-people" contacts.
Natan Shcharansky and
other Soviet Jewry activists
have repeatedly warned of the
need for Gorbachev to return
to the Soviet Union convinced
that an improvement in U.S.-
Soviet relations remains
dependent on a continued in-
crease in the number of Jews
permitted to emigrate.
Administration officials,
however, promised to press
the Soviet Jewry issue during
the summit. "The U.S. re-
mains disatisfied with the
Soviet Union's record of im-
plementation of their human
rights commitments," an Ad-
ministration statement said.
The Administration noted
that Jewish emigration has
averaged between 700 to 900
in recent months — compared
to a 2,000 average in the
1970s. More than 51,000 Jews
were allowed to leave in 1979

The U.S. has called on the
Soviets to change its pro-
cedures regarding refusals to
allow emigration on the
grounds of state security and
to drop the requirement for
an invitation from a close
relative and the requirement
for parental permission.

Soviets Disrupt
Jewish Rally
In Moscow

Washington (JTA) — A
number of Soviet Jews were
beaten and arrested, and an
American correspondent was
detained, when some 200
burly men calling themselves
"peace protestors" disrupted
a "Freedom Sunday" rally in
Moscow, according to news
sources and reports reaching
the Soviet Jewry groups last
The specifics about the pro-
test in Moscow were still
sketchy but it was known
that two Jewish activists
were arrested, several beaten
and 27 "unaccounted for"
following the protest in front
of the Soviet Foreign
Ministry, according to former
refuseniks as well as the
Union of Councils for Soviet
The demonstrators not ac-
counted for apparently "dis-
appeared" en route to the
demonstration on Smolensky
Square and are presumed to
have been detained by police
or KGB, former prisoner of
Zion Yuli Edelshtein told
reporters here.
Arrested by the KGB and
detained for four hours was
Cable News Network bureau
chief Peter Arnett, an
American citizen.

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