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Nixon Urged to Exert Diplomatic Pressure on USSR to Permit Jews to Emigrate

A New Jersey Congressman introduced a resolution today urging President Nixon to “exert diplomatic pressure” on the Soviet government to permit Russian Jews to emigrate to Israel or any other country willing to receive them. Rep. Peter W. Rodino, a Democrat from Newark, said on the House floor, “It is the moral responsibility of this nation” to persuade the Soviet government “to cease their educational, religious, employment and cultural persecution of Soviet Jewry.” Rodino, chairman of the House Judiciary Committe’s subcommittee on immigration, said he was introducing his resolution “to bring to the attention of the American public the horrifying plight of Jewish people in the Soviet Union.” He said “The increasing number of anti-Semitic practices by Soviet officials has generated great dismay in this nation and should be the concern of all people in the free world.” Rodino observed that despite conservative estimates that 300,000 Jews would leave Russia if they were so permitted, the Soviet authorities reluctantly allow only some 2,000 to emigrate annually.

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