NEW YORK (Feb. 28)
The American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry and the American Jewish Congress today announced that each of these organizations appealed to Senator J. W. Fulbright, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urging Senate approval of the ratification of the pending consular treaty with the Soviet Union.
The American Jewish Congress endorsed the proposed U.S. -Soviet consular treaty as a matter of “national self-interest” and as a test of Russian pledges to permit Jews to emigrate. Dr. Joachim Prinz, chairman of the Commission on International Affairs of the AJCongress, said in his letter to Sen, Fulbright:
“Soviet Chairman Kosygin recently indicated that his Government would allow the emigration of Soviet Jews who seek to be united with their families abroad and would place no obstacles in the way of their departure. Until now, potential applicants who live in distant parts of the Soviet Union and who seek reunification with families in the United States have been deterred by the administrative difficulty of filing with the single American diplomatic installation in Moscow. The creation of new consular offices in various parts of the USSR would considerably facilitate the processing of applications and allow a meaningful test of the Soviet pledge to grant exit visas.”
Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the Conference, wrote that the treaty would help ameliorate Soviet-U.S. tensions. The Conference, he told Sen. Fulbright, is continually conscious of its commitment to further international amity, in the context of its efforts to awaken the conscience of the world to the plight of Jews in the Soviet Union.