JERUSALEM (May. 10)
Minister-With-out-Portfolio Israel Galili warned the Knesset today that the Soviet government’s new series of draft call ups of Jews threatened Jewish emigra- tion from the USSR. The policy, he said, seems aimed at professionals and academicians, who are in the forefront of the Jewish protest movement there. He suggested that the policy might be a sop to the Arabs in response to their demand for a cessation of visas to Israel. Galili, who spoke for the government, said that the number of Soviet Jews applying for visas was outstripping the number of those granted them, and that at the present rate the waiting list would reach 80,000 by year’s end.
On another point, Galili contended that only 21 Jews who came to Israel from the USSR after the 1967 war have returned, with another 30 now in Vienna applying for return. But, he added, 12 Jews who came to Israel and returned to the USSR subsequently went on aliya again. The Knesset, with 118 in favor and two abstentions–by the anti-Israel Rakach Communists and by Haolam Hazeh–voted to commend the emigration efforts of young Soviet Jews and to condemn the Soviet authorities’ attempt to deter them. The parliament asked governments and public opinion everywhere to protest the Soviet policy and to demand the right of Jews to leave the USSR.