WASHINGTON (Nov. 14)
A severe attack against Aron Vergelis, editor of the Sovietishe Heimland, the only Yiddish magazine in the Soviet Union, was made in the House of Representatives here today, as Mr. Vergelis arrived in Washington as member of a Soviet cultural group which came on tourist visas for a tour of the United States.
Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, speaking from the floor of the House, said that Mr. Vergelis, who will seek to defend the Soviet policy on Jews, does not represent Soviet Jewry and is not concerned about the fate of the Jews in the Soviet Union. He actually came to the United States with a mission “to cover up by propaganda smokescreen the rising tide of Soviet anti-Semitism,” the Congressman told the House.
A panel discussion at Georgetown University here in which Mr. Vergelis was to participate, was canceled today an hour before it was scheduled to take place. Mr. Vergelis also ran into difficulties with a State Department warning to American organizations and institutions not to become involved with him or any of his group in providing a forum for their propaganda.
The United States meanwhile canceled negotiations on a new cultural exchange program as an additional protest against the Soviet arrest in Moscow of Professor Frederick Barghoorn of Yale University. President Kennedy has made clear that the continuation of American-Soviet cultural exchanges hinges on the release of the professor.