Immigrant Families from Soviet Georgia Stage Sit-in at Lydda Airport

Four families from the Georgian Republic, part of a planeload of Soviet Jewish emigres arriving here from Vienna, today, staged a sit-in at Lydda Airport to protest the accommodations offered them by the Absorption Ministry. Several of the families demanded housing in Lod where they said they had relatives and friends. One of them however refused a flat at Kiryat Atta although their brother lives in that town. (Press. reports that Soviet authorities have called a sudden halt to Jewish emigration were questioned today by reliable Jewish sources in New York. The sources, which have provided accurate information on developments in the Soviet Union hitherto, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the report by Los Angeles Times correspondent Richard Reston from Moscow was not correct. Reston said that only 180 Jews left the USSR during the first week of July and that there has been virtually no movement at all since then. He noted that in contrast, from March through June, Soviet authorities were permitting an average of 1,000 Jews a month to leave.)

(Jewish sources in New York told the JTA that the Soviet Jewish writer David Markish is working as a porter since he lost his job and was ousted from the writers’ union for applying for a visa to go to Israel. The sources also reported that a Jewish economist named Korncher was fired from his position at the Plekhanov Institute after he asked for a character reference to apply for an exit visa. According to the source he is working as a postman. A character reference from an employer or teacher is one of the documents required before a visa application is accepted for consideration by Soviet authorities.)

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