NEW YORK (Dec. 15)
The Central Conference of American Rabbis urged the United States and Canada today to open their doors to Soviet Jews wishing to emigrate “as has been done in the past with Hungarians, Cubans and others.” The appeal by the Reform rabbinical body was contained in a resolution denouncing the trial of Jews which opened in Leningrad today as an outrage “reminiscent of Stalinist methods.” The executive board of the CCAR called on Premier Alexei Kosygin to “end the terror which these trials signify not only for three million Jews of the USSR but to the civilized world.” The rabbinic body urged President Nixon “immediately to convey our own government’s shock at these trials and to launch a full debate on the question at the United Nations.” The Reform rabbis also pleaded with “people of all persuasions to join in a vocal outcry against these dreaded actions of the Soviet Union.” Copies of the resolution were sent to Nixon, Secretary of State Rogers, Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin and UN Secretary General U Thant.
The CCAR said, “With these trials, Kremlin authorities have returned to the dreaded techniques used in the early 1960s of the economic trials, the Slansky trial and even parallel the barbaric actions of the Iraqi Government trial.” Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the American Zionist Federation, said today that leaders of the American Zionist movement would picket the Soviet UN Mission tonight in protest against the trials. Rabbi Miller charged that while the trial opened today, the defendants have already been condemned. Commenting on the fact that foreign newsmen have been barred from the trial, Rabbi Miller said, “The arrests of those facing trial was public; the search of Jewish homes and the seizure of certain items was made public; the announcement of the trial was made public; and the charges were also made public. Why then is the trial closed to responsible news sources? A secret trial can mean only one thing: those in the dock have already been condemned.”