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Dr. Wexler: Force of World Opinion Can Prevent Further Soviet Crackdown on Jewish Citizens

Only the force of world opinion can prevent further escalation of the Soviet Union’s “already severe crackdown on its Jewish citizens,” Dr. William A. Wexler, president of B’nai B’rith said here at a meeting of the organization’s administrative committee. He said “profound concern” had been created by the coordination of recent raids on 50 Jewish homes in several Soviet cities after a purported hijack attempt of a plane at Leningrad airport, a news blackout following the arrest of 18 Jews in that incident and the vilification of Israel by Russian Jews, under government pressure, in language “straight from the official propaganda mill.” A concerned world must prevent political prosecution of the innocent and “work to secure Justice for persons Jailed under questionable circumstances” in Russia, Dr. Wexler said.