JERUSALEM (Aug. 24)
Israeli officials have responded with satisfaction to what they consider a mounting worldwide protest against the new higher exit charges for Soviet Jewish scientists but they cautioned today against any hopes that the governments to which Israel has appealed would issue public requests to the Soviet Union to cancel the charges.
The officials made it clear that they would be satisfied if such governments worked privately to get a reversal of the massive new exit charges for Jewish academicians. One source here remarked “I don’t think that a lot of governments will condemn the Soviet Union publicly. If they approach the Russians quietly and very firmly, we will consider that a great achievement,” he added.
Other Israeli officials said a rising tide of protest was developing and would continue to grow but they added that “we haven’t reached the summit of protest yet.” Other sources discounted the possibility that Israel would raise the issue formally at the United Nations where “the Soviet Union would mobilize 50 to 60 countries to neutralize” any such effort. But one informant said that several Jewish and non-Jewish American organizations had approached UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim to act on the problem.
The World Zionist Organization’s Youth and Hechalutz department said it had instructed its 32 emissaries around the world to urge Jewish students and other young people to campaign against the high exit levies. Mordechai Bar-On, the department head, recommended a variety of new and dramatic tactics to attract “coverage by the mass media.” He emphasized the need for Jewish students to alert their teachers to the meaning of the Soviet levies. He also said it was urgent that Soviet Jews be kept informed on actions being taken on their behalf, suggesting they be “flooded with calls and letters” of information.