TEL AVIV (Sep. 14)
Tel Aviv University has launched a world wide campaign to press Soviet authorities to permit the emigration of Benjamin Levich, a noted electro-chemist who has applied in vain for a visa to go to Israel. A university spokesman reported that 500 letters were sent to scientists all over the world asking for their help. The letters were sent to Nobel laureates, heads of science faculties, presidents of scientific institutions and the editors of science journals.
Levich was dismissed from his teaching post and ousted from the Soviet Academy of Science after applying for a visa. He was the first to reveal the new Soviet policy of demanding exorbitant visa fees from college-educated Jews seeking to emigrate. Tel Aviv University said it had a full professorship awaiting him in its chemistry department when he reaches Israel.
A large group of Jewish immigrants from Russia arrived here late last night but there was not a single academician among them. The arrivals were not certain whether this was merely coincidental or reflected the effects of the high visa fees. Some of them said that academicians whose visas were issued before the new fess were promulgated last Aug. 3 may still leave without paying the fees. That contradicted early reports from emigres and Jewish sources in the Soviet Union that the high visa fees were being demanded retroactively.