WASHINGTON (Mar. 6)
The Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington said today that four Moscow Jews have asked to meet with a representative of President Nixon in Moscow before the President’s arrival for his conference there in May, to discuss the problems of Soviet Jews and the circumstances surrounding their requests for emigration.
Prof. David Korn, who is chairman of the Russian and German department at Howard University and head of the Washington JCC’s Soviet Jewry Committee, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that the request for the meeting was relayed to him in a telephone conversation today with Roman Rutman, a Jewish activist in Moscow. Korn said that he and Isaac Franck, executive vice-president of the JCC, were writing to President Nixon about the request.
According to Korn, Rutman told him that he felt that Soviet Jews have the right to meet with a representative of President Nixon’s advance party because of the President’s pronouncements regarding Soviet Jews. Rutman also reportedly said that the President’s statements indicated that he was aware of the problems of Soviet Jews.
Korn quoted Rutman as saying that the Soviet government cannot speak for Soviet Jews and that four Jews have been selected, from among those who have applied unsuccessfully for exit visas, to speak for them to a Presidential aide. He said the four were Rutman, Victor Pulski, Vladimir Slepak and Alexander Lerner.
Rutman also reportedly told Korn that the arrests of Jews outside the Kiev synagogue on three consecutive Saturdays indicated an upsurge of official harassment of Jews. (The National Conference on Soviet Jewry in New York has reported that the four arrested in Kiev on Feb. 18 have been released after serving 15-day sentences.)