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12 Professors Urge USSR to End Policy of Excessive Visa Fees

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The Soviet Union has been asked by the presidents of 12 universities and colleges in Pennsylvania to abandon its policy of excessive visa fees for Jewish academicians seeking to emigrate to Israel. A statement signed by the 12 was sent to Anatoly F. Dobrynin, the Soviet Ambassador in Washington and to Prof. M. Keldysn. chairman of the Academy of Science in Moscow, by John R. Coleman, president of Haverford College.

The statement said, “We have read with dismay of the Soviet Union’s new policy to require heavy payments from Jews seeking to emigrate to Israel. Payments of from $5000 to $38,000 depending on the level of education are both enormous in the lives of individual Jews and petty in the life of a great national power.”

The statement cited “steady improvements” in relations between the Soviet Union and the US leading to an era of greater respect for individual and group rights. But, it added, “This latest move and other restrictions on educated Jews appear to go in the opposite direction. They destroy the chance of many people to live their lives as they wish to do. They discourage others from getting an education since that would increase the price on their heads. They disrupt the free flow of ideas among nations. And they smack of ransom.”

The schools whose presidents signed the statement include Temple University; LaSalle College; Haverford College; Lincoln University; Drexel University; Villanova University and Bryn Mawr College.

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