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Two Soviet Jewish Families Arrive in Israel; Nine Others Have Permission to Leave

Two Soviet Jews who arrived here early this morning with their families named nine others who, they said, have received permission to leave Russia and can be expected in Israel shortly. The new arrivals are David Drabkin and Victor Fedosayev, both from Moscow and both considered activists in the forefront of Jewish demands for emigration rights. They told reporters that their exit visas were held up by Soviet authorities until after last week’s world conference on Soviet Jewry in Brussels in order to prevent them from attending the gathering. Drabkin, his wife and daughter told newsmen in fluent English that the Russians are sensitive to public opinion and pressure on behalf of Soviet Jewry must be kept up but they specifically ruled out acts of violence.

They said the national spirit among Russian Jews was on the increase and claimed that Soviet authorities are issuing exit visas in greater numbers to Jewish activists, possibly in order to be rid of them. Drabkin and Fedosayev said that among the Jews issued visas recently were the Yiddish poet Yossef Kerler, the opera singer Michael Magod, a Jew named Balabanoff, Meir Gilfond and the Finger, Katz, Feinbaum, Jacobson and Robinson families. According to the new arrivals, a number of these Jews participated in last Wednesday’s unprecedented nine-hour sit-in at the Supreme Soviet building in downtown Moscow to press their demand for emigration. (There was no word from Moscow today regarding a major decision on Jewish emigration rights by high Soviet authorities which the sit-ins had been promised would be issued on Mar. 1).

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