Zionists Urged to Mobilize Massive Campaign Against Soviet ‘ransom’ Fees

The Zionist Movement in the United States has been called upon by the American Zionist Federation to respond to the challenge posed by the recently stepped up exit fees demanded by the Soviet government for the emigration of educated Soviet Jews. The AZF urged an “immediate, massive campaign” which will “demonstrate to the Soviet rulers in the Kremlin that this challenge will not go unmet.”

In a directive sent to 500 Zionist leaders, Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the AZF, called upon them to launch an action program designed to impress upon the Soviet leadership that there will be no surrender to such acts of “blackmail.”

The Zionist community leaders were instructed to organize a campaign involving all segments of the community and to work through city-wide Soviet Jewry committees where such groups exist. Where they do not exist, they were instructed to seek the participation of all Jewish groups in the community as well as Christian organizations and prominent Christian personalities.

Rabbi Miller, a member of the World Zionist Executive, also revealed that the Executive has called upon Zionist Federations in 40 countries to mount similar campaigns. The appeal sent by the World Movement called for Zionists everywhere “to give the struggle for the abolition of the ransom money imposed on Soviet Jews and their right for free aliya a central position in the activity of the Zionist Movement and Jewish organizations” in the weeks ahead.

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