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Nixon Has Responsibility to Help Shapiro, California Student Leader Says

No response has been reported so far to a direct television appeal to President Nixon to Intervene on behalf of Gavriel Shapiro. The appeal was broadcast here Friday night on a news show the President is known to watch frequently when he is at the Western White House in San Clemente. It was made by Zev Yaroslavsky, chairman of the California Students for Soviet Jews, who was a guest on the “George Putnam News Show.”

Yaroslavsky maintained that “aside from the fact that the question of Soviet Jewry is and has been an issue of international importance, President Nixon has a clear responsibility to help reunite Judy Silver Shapiro, an American citizen, with her husband.” He said the entire case and the denial of a Russian visa to Mrs. Shapiro so that she can attend her husband’s trial was “an affront to an American citizen, her President and her country.” He claimed that “President Nixon’s failure to speak out for Soviet Jews like Shapiro while in Moscow has certainly been a factor in this case.”

Yaroslavsky spoke and answered questions for ten minutes. He urged the President “to intercede on behalf of Shapiro before his trial begins on July 26″ in Moscow. Shapiro will be tried under section 198 of the Soviet penal code which deals with evasion of military service, Shapiro had completed his required military duty but went into hiding in May when he and other Jewish activists were ordered to report to duty, apparently to keep them out of circulation during President Nixon’s summit visit.

Yaroslavsky expressed dismay over the President’s failure to acknowledge several telegrams sent to him by Mrs. Shapiro asking his assistance. He said he had no confirmation that Nixon watched the program but noted that the Western White House had been alerted by telegram to his appearance on the Putnam show “and there is good reason to believe he was watching Friday night.”

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