NEW YORK (Aug. 23)
National Jewish organizations continued today to denounce the harassment of Israeli athletes participating in the world college Olympic games in Moscow. They said that the hostility and epithets directed at the Israeli sportsmen and against Jewish spectators at the games clearly disqualified the Soviet Union from serving as host nation in the 1980 summer Olympics.
School children in gym clothes, and American sports figures demonstrated in front of the Soviet UN Mission here this morning to protest the incidents in Moscow. The demonstration was sponsored by the B’nai B’rith Metropolitan Council and the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry. Conference chairman Stanley Lowell said the Soviet treatment of the Israeli team and its own Jewish citizens “makes manifestly clear that the Soviets are not suitable hosts for International gatherings, especially the 1980 Olympics.”
Demonstrations will take place tomorrow in front of the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco and the Soviet Embassy in Washington to protest against the treatment of Israeli athletes in Moscow. The San Francisco demonstration will be sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Action Committee on Soviet Jewry. The Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington will sponsor the demonstration at the Soviet Embassy.
Meanwhile, about 40 Moscow Jews have written to the International University Sports Federation which sponsors the college Olympic games that an atmosphere of anti-Semitism had been created around the Israeli athletes and their Jewish fans in Moscow. The National Conference on Soviet Jewry reported today that V. Valtsov, nephew of the Russian Jewish scientist and activist Alexander Lerner, was arrested and sentenced to ten days in jail because he tried to enter a Moscow arena where the Israeli team was competing. He was arrested although he held a ticket for the event, the NCSJ said.
STORM TROOP BEHAVIOR
Seymour Graubard, national chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League, demanded that the Soviet Union be denied the opportunity to host the 1980 Olympics because of the “anti-Semitic indignities and slander at the World University Games.” Graubard made his demand in a letter to Lord Killanian, chairman of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland. He sent a copy of his letter to F. Don Miller, executive director of the U.S. Olympic Committee here.
Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, president-elect of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, said in a statement today that the “storm-troop behavior of the uniformed soldiers together with the hate-filled hysteria of the crowd makes a mockery of sportsmanship.”