“freedom Airlift” for Soviet Jews
Menu JTA Search

“freedom Airlift” for Soviet Jews

Download PDF for this date

Immediate establishment of a “freedom airlift” to transport , Jews to Israel from the Soviet Union was urged today by the. Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Seymour Graubard, ADL national chairman, proposed that the most emphatic response the nations of the world can make to Arab terrorists’ blackmail is to set up a weekly shuttle of neutral airplanes which would carry Jews from a designated airport in the USSR to Lod Airport in Tel Aviv.

Graubard compared his proposal to the evacuation of thousands of Cubans from Havana by the United States several years ago with the permission of the Castro regime.

Denouncing the submission of Austrian authorities to terrorist duress, the ADL chairman said that his suggestion was not a substitute or alternative for transportation through Vienna. The “freedom airlift,” he said, should be in addition to the Austrian arrangement “to not only facilitate the emigration and minimize opportunities for hijacking, but reduce pressure, on housing and rail transport, both of which are currently overburdened on the route taken by the refugees.”

Weekly airlifts to freedom for Soviet Jews, he said, “financed by the generosity of the world community, would, if permitted by Soviet authorities, be a major contribution to the atmosphere of detente which is now building between the major powers.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund