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Eban Charges Soviets Try to Terrorize Jews Seeking Emigration to Israel

Foreign Minister Abba Eban charged today that Soviet security forces have mounted a deliberate campaign in recent weeks to terrorize and deter Soviet Jews from emigrating to Israel. He stressed that help must be extended to all Soviet Jews who needed it, regardless of their citizenship but said that the matter of granting Soviet Jews Israeli citizenship in absentia could be effective with regard to the way in which the cases of these people were handled.

Eban spoke in reply to three urgent agenda motions introduced by Menachem Beigin of Gahal, Eliezer Shoshtak of the Free Center, and Rabbi Avraham Werdiger of Poalei Agudat Israel, which were all referred for a plenum debate. Eban said that he would give the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee more details concerning the points raised about the handling of Israeli citizenship papers destined for Soviet Jews, some of them currently awaiting trial in the Soviet Union.

Eban charged that the imprisonments, the persecutions and the trials carried out by the Soviet security forces disagreed sharply in their “vicious and vengeful character” with Soviet claims that it favors family reunions.

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