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Protests Mount Against Ransom Demands

Israeli scientists and educators issued a joint statement today urging the Soviet Union to rescind the excessively high visa fees levied on Jewish academicians seeking to emigrate. They warned that the new Soviet policy is “bound to have the most serious international implications.”

The statement was signed by the Israel Academy of Humanities and Sciences, the Israel Council of Institutions of Higher Education and the Scientists Committee of the Public Council for Soviet Jewry. Representatives of the three organizations met in emergency session on the visa fee matter.

Their statement said in part: “The latest move against Soviet Jews creates the gravest doubt as to whether the spirit of Stalinism is not still the guiding policy of certain circles in the Kremlin.”

Protests against the “ransom” of Soviet Jews continued to mount in other quarters. Various ex-servicemen’s associations issued a joint appeal yesterday to the World Veterans Association in Paris to raise its voice against the Soviet policy which is “contrary to the rights of man for which the veterans of the free world fought during World War II.” The World Veterans Association reportedly has 20 million affiliated members in 50 countries.

The Israeli war veterans also cabled veterans groups in the US. The organization of former partisans and anti-Nazi fighters and former concentration camp inmates appealed to the organization of Soviet veterans of World War II to “take all measures to halt the oppression of the Jewish people” in their country.

An Israeli firm beat tough American and West German competition to win a $10 million contract to construct a plant for the manufacture of brake linings in Yugoslavia. The deal was reported by Edward Schwartz, director general of the Ceramicasting Corp. which will also provide the machinery and engineering know-how for the plant.

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