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Six Soviet Jews Wish Conference Success; Three Others to Hold Counter-meeting

The Soviet Union is sending three prominent Russian Jews to Brussels to participate in a mass meeting Monday night intended to counteract the world conference on Soviet Jewry which opens here Tuesday. At the same time, the conference office here received cables from Soviet Jews in Moscow and Oriel wishing it success and “fruitful results.” A spokesman for the conference replied today to an attack on it by Tass, the official Soviet news agency. He said that contrary to Tass’ allegations, the conference was in no way an anti-Soviet event and was intended only to focus world attention on the position of Jews in the USSR and to secure for them the same rights enjoyed by other ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union. The pro-Moscow counter-meeting to be held here Monday is being organized by the Belgian-Soviet Friendship Society. The speakers will include Col. Gen. David Dragunsky, the highest ranking Jewish officer in the Russian Army; Vladimir Peller, a Jewish member of the Supreme Soviet; and Samuel Ziv, also a Jew, the chairman of the Soviet Bar Association. A spokesman for the meeting said the Russian visitors would answer questions. He also said that a film would be shown titled, “We Were Born Here.”

The secretariat preparing for the world conference on Soviet Jewry announced today that it had received a cable of good wishes signed by six Moscow Jews: Meir Selfond, Alexander Balabanov, Lev Freidin, Jacob Robinson, Joseph Kerler and Karl Malkir. A second cable wishing the conference “success and unity” came from Karl and Raya Frusin of Oriel, the conference reported. A conference spokesman said that Tass erred when it described the forthcoming gathering as an “anti-Soviet provocation.” He said it was not directed against the Soviet Union but would demonstrate the solidarity of the Jewish people with the three million Jews in Russia. “The world conference of Jewish communities on Soviet Jewry is dedicated to human rights; it is not an anti-Soviet move and it is not part of the cold war,” the spokesman said. (It was announced in London today that the chairman of the British Labor Party. Ian Mikardo, has accepted an invitation to attend the Brussels conference. He said that if he were prevented by parliamentary duties from going to Brussels he would send the conference a message outlining his position on Soviet Jewry.)

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