OTTAWA (Sep. 13)
A delegation representing the leadership of Canadian Jewry asked Premier Pierre Elliot Trudeau to intervene on behalf of the rights of Soviet Jews when he visits Moscow next month. The delegation visited M. Trudeau and Foreign Minister Mitchell Sharp for two hours Friday to discuss Soviet involvement in the Middle East, aerial hijacking and the status of Jews in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The delegation was headed by Monroe Abbey, president of the Canadian Jewish Congress and Saul Hayes, executive vice president. It represented in addition to the CJCongress the Federated Zionist Organization of Canada. B’nai B’rith District 22 and the United Jewish Appeal.
Rabbi Gunther Plaut of Toronto, raised the question of Jews in Eastern Europe who, he said. numbered some three million in the Soviet Union and its satellite states. He said they were not permitted to pursue and enjoy Jewish cultural life or to emigrate to Israel. He urged the Canadian Prime Minister to appeal to Soviet leaders on behalf of Russian Jews who wish to emigrate to Israel to reunite with their families.
Mr. Hayes told the Canadian leaders that in the delegations view “Canada should not be neutral on the Middle East issue and Russia’s involvement there because it is one of international proportions.” The delegation also asked the Canadian Government to support prompt steps to apprehend hijackers before they seize planes and to seek international treaties that would stamp out hijacking and provide for measures to be taken against countries that harbor hijackers. The delegation asked Premier Trudeau for Canada’s support of Israel and “its right to peace and security, including the security of its borders.”