LONDON (Jul. 21)
Deputations of Jews and Christians from all over Britain converged on Parliament yesterday to lobby for a motion now before the House of Commons which would put on record this country’s abhorrence of the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union. Some 1,500 persons, including Christian ministers, members of the Council of Christians and Jews, human rights leaders and trade union officials met with more than 300 MPs of all parties. Many MPs reportedly promised to write to the Prime Minister asking for his personal intervention with Soviet leaders. The mass lobbying effort was initiated by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and organized by the Association of Jewish ex-Servicemen.
The resolution before the House has been signed to date by 316 MPs, more than half the membership. It “deplores the refusal of the Soviet Government to permit Jews to leave Russia in accordance with recognized human rights; its persecution of those Jews who wish to emigrate to Israel and its refusal to permit Soviet Jews freely to practice their religion and to maintain their culture.” The resolution “Calls upon Her Majesty’s Government to use its best endeavors to secure and ensure respect” for the human rights of Jews in the USSR. Six members of the Committee for the Release of Soviet Jewish Prisoners gained entry last night to a reception in the Guildhall for visiting members of the American Bar Association. They distributed leaflets pleading the case of Benito Bruchbein, a Moscow Jew arrested by the KQB–Soviet secret police–June 14 after a search of his flat. Members of the committee said afterwards that they had spoken to some of the guests and were promised support.