Soviet Jewish Immigrants Petition Nixon to Withdraw Opposition to Jackson Amendment

A group of Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union petitioned President Nixon today to withdraw his opposition to the Jackson Amendment. The group presented their petition to the U.S. Charge d’Affaires Owen Zerhullen at the U.S. Embassy here.

The petitioners urged Nixon to discontinue pressure on American Jewish groups and Congressional leaders to withdraw their support for the Jackson measure. They told Zerhullen that they regarded the Jackson Amendment as a useful tool to ensure the continued emigration of Russian Jews. If the amendment is rejected, they said, nothing would prevent the Soviet authorities from intensifying its oppression of Russian Jews.

American Jewish leaders have never indicated that they were pressured by the White House not to support the Jackson Amendment. However, Nixon and his national security advisor, Dr. Henry Kissinger, have stressed at meetings with Jewish leaders the importance of most favored nation treatment for the Soviet Union as a means of accomplishing the U.S. policy of improved trade relations and detente. The Israeli government has maintained a policy of non-interference in the matter.

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