CHICAGO (Mar. 20)
Rep. Robert F. Drinan (D.,Mass.), a 51-year-old Jesuit priest who has been in Congress since 1970, asserted in a speech scheduled for delivery tonight that President Nixon had failed to rally public opinion on behalf of relief of the situation of Soviet Jews.
Speaking to the second-day dinner meeting of the National Interreligious Consultation on Soviet Jewry at the University of Chicago’s Center for Continuing Education, Drinan declared that in 1970 and 1971 the Nixon administration “appeared to default on its pre-election promise…to create world opinion, as well as document all the facts, in order that, through diplomatic and other channels, the concern of the American people for the cultural and religious freedom of Soviet Jews may be firmly communicated on many levels to the leaders of the Soviet government.”
Drinan disclosed that he will visit Israel in late May on behalf of the Interreligious Consultation and will report to the delegates on his findings in regard to immigration. “I have the hope that American Christians will be aroused at the injustices being inflicted on persons of the Jewish faith in Russia. I hope also that Christians in America will recognize, as never before, and act upon the acute and profound problems which confront Israel because, by its nature, it is an ongoing ingathering of exiles and refugees.”
RECALLS JEWISH PARTICIPATION
Addressing the Consultation last night, Mayor Charles Evers of Fayette, Miss., declared that “It will be a disgrace to American Jews if President Nixon on his forthcoming visit to the Soviet Union does not tell the Russian authorities to ‘let our people go.’” Evers, the brother of murdered civil rights leader Medgar Evers, stated: “I am here, all of you are here, because we care. I am proud to be a part of ending this oppression. I am also here because as one who remembers the Jewish participation in the Mississippi civil rights struggle I do not forget those who helped me.”
Asserting that “our Jewish friends in the United States should join hands with us so that Blacks and Jews can be linked together in the struggle for human rights.” Evers concluded: “Blacks and Jews have been the victims of the worst racism in the world. Tonight we are talking about ending racism.” The Consultation is being attended by 165 Protestant, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Jewish leaders from across the country.