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Tekoah Submits Appeal to UN from Moscow Jews to Be Allowed to Go to Israel

For the third time in recent weeks. Yosef Tekoah, permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations, submitted today to the UN an appeal from Soviet Jews to be allowed to leave for Israel. The appeal was addressed to the Secretary-General U Thant and to the president of the General Assembly. It was signed by 25 residents of Moscow whose names and addresses were given in full. According to the text, the Jews declared, “we, the signatories of the present appeal, are persons of various ages, occupations, education and tastes and are not connected with one another in anything except the wish to leave the Soviet Union for Israel in order to reunite there in our own land with our relatives.”

The statement added that “we have appealed innumerable times to all possible organs of authority in our country–from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the chairman of the presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. All of us have been refused. We consider that to hold us forcibly is against the simplest concepts of humanity and morality. We demand free exit from the USSR.” In submitting the letter today to the Secretary General’s office and to Miss Angie Brooks. General Assembly president. Mr. Tekoah requested that the letter be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly. At a press conference today, the Ambassador made public a letter addressed to Premier Golda Meir of Israel, dated Dec. 31, 1969, and just received in Jerusalem from one of the signatories of the appeal of the 25 Moscow Jews, Mrs. Rozalla Plotkina, a physician.

In her letter, Mrs. Plotkina asked the Israeli Premier for help “by all possible means” that she should be allowed to go to Israel and join her relatives “as life in the USSR has become unbearable for me.” Mrs. Plotkina stated in her letter that on March 24,1969. she submitted to the Soviet authorities a request to permit her to go to Israel. This was refused, she reported, but immediately after submitting her application, she added, she began to be subjected to systematic persecution at her place of work.

JEWISH DOCTOR DISMISSED FROM WORK; NO OTHER JOB AS DOCTOR AVAILABLE

“At present, Dec. 6,1969, the matter has reached the stage when a collective trial over me has been organized at my place of work…At this ‘comradely trial’ which was conducted in a ‘hun-like style’ a resolution was adopted stipulating the necessity to dismiss me from work. This means that it is impossible for me to work in the USSR as a physician. I have no other profession. I beg you to take into consideration the fact that the only way out of my plight is my departure for homeland. Israel, and to help me.”

Mr. Tekoah revealed that there are now numerous parents, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives pleading to be reunited in Israel with their nearest members of their families. He said “There are children who have waited in vain for years to see again their fathers and mothers. There are Jewish girls who do not marry for fear that this might further reduce a prospect of reunion with their families in Israel.” Appealing to the Soviet Government to permit the emigration of Jews who wish to go to Israel, Mr. Tekoah said that the Soviet Government “would earn worldwide esteem if it were to grant Soviet Jews their fundamental human rights.” He added that there were undoubtedly Jews who may wish to remain in the Soviet Union but he pointed out that this could not justify the denial to those who are longing to go to Israel, of their simple human rights to do so.

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