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Trudeau Scored for Accepting Kosygin’s Word That Many Jews Permitted to Emigrate

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Mrs. Catherine Shiff, an official of the Canadian Jewish Congress, castigated Canada’s Premier Pierre Elliot Trudeau last night for “accepting a statement” by Premier Alexsei N. Kosygin that substantial numbers of Soviet Jews are being permitted to emigrate to Israel. Mrs. Shiff presided at a rally attended by 1,000 persons honoring Mrs. Rivka Aleksandrovich. The rally was organized by the CJC and the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. “How is it Mr. Trudeau that you accept such a statement when the trials of Soviet Jews have resumed and people are harassed for expressing their wish to go to Israel?” Mrs. Shiff asked. She claimed that the number of Jews permitted to leave Russia was “mere tokenism.” Mrs. Shiff’s complaint was directed to the remarks by Premier Trudeau in the Canadian House of Commons replying to questions about his recent visit to the USSR. Referring to his meeting with Kosygin in Moscow, Trudeau said that while in the Soviet Union for a 10-day tour ending May 28, “I expressed to Mr. Kosygin the widespread concern in Canada over the alleged refusal of the Soviet government to permit its Jewish citizens to emigrate to Israel or to other countries of their choice. I was assured by Mr. Kosygin that these allegations were not well founded and that, in particular, his government had permitted the exit of Jews to Israel for many months in substantial numbers. I might add,” Trudeau continued, “that Mr. Kosygin’s statement has been corroborated by the Canadian government from other independent sources.”

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