Circulation of Soviet Jewry Petition Angers Soviet Delegation at UN

Diplomatic sources reported today that Secretary General Kurt Waldheim’s circulation of a Soviet Jewry petition has angered the Soviet delegation, which had urged him not to do so and now threatens some form of reprisal. The petition, signed by 270 Jews, was sent directly in June to Waldheim and to heads of delegations and was keyed to the Assembly, which opened Sept, 19, Since then, some 130 additional Soviet Jews have added their signatures to the emigration plea.

In asking Waldheim to circulate the petition among United Nations members, Israel Ambassador to the UN, Yosef Tekoah, referred to their “heart-rending” appeal for “self-determination through repatriation to the State of Israel.”

In updating the appeal, the new signers said the imposition of heavy emigration fees had put Soviet Jews in “a tragic situation” in that “they have no money for the payment of the fantastic sums imposed on them….” Calling the decree “inhumane and unjustly extortionist,” the petitioners asked Waldheim to put the issue on the Assembly’s agenda and to “raise the voice of protest.” A United Nations spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “He (Waldheim) has already put a special item (terrorism) on the agenda and I doubt that he would put another one on.”

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