LOS ANGELES (Jul. 7)
The California Students for Soviet Jews today released the contents of a letter to Prime Minister Alexel Kosygin dated June 9 requesting the release of four Jewish political prisoners: Mr. and Mrs. Boris Kochubiyevsky of Kiev and Mr. and Mrs. Yosef Kazakov of Moscow. The letter, signed by Zev Yaroslavsky, chairman of CSSJ, on behalf of the CSSJ and the Southern Council for Soviet Jews, expressed “hope that your government sees it in their interests to release these four people and permit them to go to Israel.” The letter suggested that if the prisoners were not released by June 30 the performances of the Moiseyev Ballet Company which begin August 7, may “find itself in serious difficulty in the Southern California area.” Stating that no member of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, an independent grass roots movement on behalf of Soviet Jews, would take part in any disruptive demonstrations, Mr. Yaroslavsky said, “Floods of telephone calls from indignant segments of the Jewish community indicate to us that there may be serious trouble at the opening night performance.” He added, “there seems to be an element within our community which seems intent on disrupting the Moiseyev’s performances in the name of Soviet Jews; we will not be a part to such criminal actions.” He did not identify the “element.”
Si Frumkin, chairman of the SCSJ commented, “We have tried every peaceful means thinkable with the Soviets. We have held private meetings and held mass peaceful rallies to no avail.” The chairman then announced, “We will be demonstrating at the opening night performance of the Moiseyev not only outside the Shrine Auditorium but within the confines of the Shrine.” The Kremlin’s reply to the June 9 letter, received on June 24, will be released at a press conference later today. Boris Kochubiyevsky, a defender of Israel’s position from the Six-Day War onward, insisted at a memorial meeting for the thousands of Jews slaughtered at Babi Yar in 1941-43, that this was a unique tragedy for the Jewish people. He was arrested in December 1968 and tried for disseminating anti-Soviet slander. He has been sentenced to three years in a forced labor camp. Mr. and Mrs. Yosef Kazakov are the parents of Yasha Kazakov who, two months ago, conducted a hunger strike outside the United Nations Headquarters in New York in an effort to have his parents released from the Soviet Union. Yasha is now living in Israel.