JERUSALEM (Dec. 19)
The World Zionist Organization appealed today to Jewish organizations throughout the world to increase their activities to ease the plight of Jews in Syria and Iraq. In a statement issued in Jerusalem, the WZO Executive declared that special attention must be directed to freeing eight young Iraqi Jews and the eight young Syrian Jews now in prison in those countries.
Shmuel Divon, political advisor to Foreign Minister Abba Eban, briefed the meeting on the plight of Jews in general in Syria and Iraq in particular. He spoke of wide-ranging efforts that had been employed on behalf of these Jews in the recent past. After hearing the report, the WZO asked that a special greeting be sent from the organization to the Syrian and Iraqi Jews with the pledge that world Jewry would not rest until they were permitted to emigrate.
BEEFS UP CAMPAIGN AGAINST HEAD TAX
At a meeting yesterday, the WZO announced that it would step up its campaign against the academic head tax imposed by Soviet authorities on Jewish emigrants. Louis Pincus, chairman of the WZO Executive, told a meeting of the Executive that the Soviet government has been taking sterner measures lately against Jews applying for visas and that therefore, the efforts against the “ransom” tax had to be increased.
Pincus stated that the WZO’s information campaign against the tax has already achieved some important results. He cited statements by leading political figures in a number of countries. Including those by U.S. Senators and Congressmen. The Executive, discussing means to draw other Jewish organizations into the Zionist fold, decided that the “Jerusalem Program” which calls upon Jews to consider Israel the focus of Judaism should be the chief criteria. Negotiations were reported with the Reform and Conservative movements to affiliate with the WZO.