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Soviet Jews, in Letters to Nixon, Zoa, Appeal for Help to Emigrate to Israel

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A letter from six Soviet Jews appealing to President Nixon for help to emigrate to Israel was forwarded yesterday to the White House by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. In a covering letter, Seymour Graubard, national ADL chairman, said the six wrote “with the fervent hope that you would respond” and asked the President for “public recognition of their plight.” According to Mr. Graubard the appeal was the first from Soviet Jews directed to President Nixon. He said it was brought out of Russia by an American tourist. The Zionist Organization of America released a letter today from seven Jews in Moscow stating that they were “fighting for the right to emigrate to Israel” and were “being detained by force on the territory of the USSR by the Soviet authorities.” That letter, according to the ZOA, was addressed to the organization’s executive director. Leon Ilutovich. Like the ADL letter, it was reportedly smuggled out of Russia by a tourist. The letter to President Nixon, written in English, Russian and Hebrew, described the signers’ vain efforts to emigrate from Russia and declared. “In the name of decency, in the name of freedom, in the name of the One on whom you and many of us trust, we are asking for help.” Both letters gave the full names and street addresses of the signatories. The letter from the ZOA was written in Russian and contained New Year greetings “to our brethren and friends in the United States of America and in the entire world.”

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