WASHINGTON (Nov. 11)
Congress was told yesterday afternoon that law and reality in the Soviet Union part company when the rights of Jews are concerned. Submitting statements on discrimination against Soviet Jews, Dr. William R. Korey, director of the New York bureau of the B’nai B’rith International Council, cited the views of the noted Soviet nuclear physicist Dr. Andrei D. Sakharov and historian Roy A. Medvedev, both non-Jews.
The B’nai B’rith official testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s European subcommittee at the concluding session of its two-day hearings on “denial of rights to Soviet Jews.” The subcommittee met to consider pending Congressional legislation expressing concern about the treatment by the Soviet government of its Jewish citizens.
Dr. Korey reported Dr. Sakharov as having “made it clear that since 1939 the top bureaucratic elite of the Soviet Union has been influenced by what he calls zoological anti-Semitism, which extends to its appointments policy.” Dr. Korey added that “Most disturbing of all, a quota system operates in the universities, and limits the number of Jews in careers of opportunity.” Medvedev, he said, was, like his colleagues on the Soviet Committee on Human Rights, “profoundly concerned with the plight of Soviet Jews.”
UN EFFORTS URGED
Dr. Korey quoted from Medvedev’s document detailing “the travail of Soviet Jewry,” in which the historian wrote that “there has grown up a whole generation of young Jews who have never breathed the pure air of national equality, who have never felt themselves Soviet citizens enjoying full rights.”
As a result of “a tremendous outcry of world public opinion,” Dr. Korey testified,” this year some recognition has been given (by the Kremlin) to the right-to-leave principle,” with “perhaps as many as 10,000 Jews” having been permitted to leave by the end of this year. “But,” he continued, “a total of approximately 80,000 applications to leave have been filed, which, when one adds entire families, means that one-quarter-million Jews are still hemmed in by what the Soviet physicist and humanitarian Sakharov calls a gilded cage.” Dr. Korey called on the US to place the Soviet Jewry issue on the UN General Assembly agenda.
Also testifying late yesterday was Prof. Hans J. Morgenthau, the political analyst with the City University of New York, who recommended that the government “not over-emphasize” but “not exclude” its UN efforts to alleviate the restrictions on Soviet Jews. He urged that the US place “much more important stress” on bilateral efforts to eliminate Soviet Jews’ “spiritual terror.” Prof. Morgenthau spoke as chairman of the Academic Committee of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry.