JERUSALEM (Aug. 27)
Foreign Minister Abba Eban told the regular Cabinet meeting today that he would raise the issue of the new huge exit charges for Soviet Jewish scientists during the debate before the United Nations General Assembly next month. He said he would also bring the issue to the attention of the biennial meeting of UNESCO meeting this fall.
Reporting on the latest developments in Israel’s efforts to induce the Soviets to cancel the “ransom” decree, which reportedly went into effect Aug. 3, Eban said there was an “echo around the world” in a mounting worldwide reaction to the “head tax” on Soviet Jewish scientists and that he “fully expected” the “clamor” to increase in the days ahead. Eban reported also that a number of governments friendly to Israel had pledged to make their voices heard on the issue.
He added there had been “assurances” from government officials in the United States that the US would work toward a repeal of the Soviet exit charges. He indicated that Israel understands that American officials prefer quiet diplomacy to bring pressure on the Soviets and that this quiet diplomacy has already begun. It was indicated that Joseph Sisco, the US Assistant Secretary of State briefed Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin on US plans to combat the higher exit charges. Gen, Rabin has been instructed to bring to the attention of Congressional leader the speech made by Premier Golda Meir to an extraordinary session of the Knesset last Wednesday and the text of the resolution approved by the Knesset calling on the Soviet Union to annul the higher exit charges. Meanwhile, Israel’s Foreign Ministry continued to call attention to worldwide reaction to the huge new charges, as reflected in the press. Sources here reported that the protest has spread to Africa, where the Senegal-controlled newspaper published a front page article on the Soviet measure.