NEW YORK (Jun. 24)
Public pressure is increasing on President Nixon to intercede on behalf of Soviet Jews when he arrives in Moscow Thursday. Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D.Wash.) and AFL-CIO president George Meany sent telegrams to a "We Are One" concert-rally in Queens denouncing Nixon’s statement at Annapolis that the question of emigration for Soviet Jews and others is an internal matter of the USSR. The rally, sponsored by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, was postponed yesterday because of rain and will be held tonight.
Jackson, in his telegram, declared that the "fate of tens of thousands of innocent human beings in compelling situations in the Soviet Union depend on our making it clear to the highest levels of government in Washington and Moscow our intention to condition the eligibility for further U.S. trade concessions on respect for the fundamental right to emigrate."
Meany called Nixon’s Annapolis remarks "a thinly-veiled and completely unwarranted attack against the position taken by American labor and Sen. Jackson. In plain English, the President’s charge is a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts." Meany said that the Soviet Union, which wants most favored nation treatment in trade is being asked to abide by the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination which the USSR signed. The treaty provides "the right of everyone to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his own country," Meany said.
Rep. Hugh L. Carey (D.NY) in an address scheduled to be delivered at the rally, pledged that Congress "will not relent on this issue." He urged President Nixon not to mislead the Soviet leaders on this point. "Tell them in no uncertain terms that the Congress of the United States is in support of the Jackson Amendment," Carey declared.
In Philadelphia, Benjamin S. Loewenstein, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council, telegraphed Nixon to Intervene on behalf of Soviet Jews before he goes to Moscow. He said the Soviet government was hunting Jewish activists in preparation for the Nixon visit and this "makes you an accomplice to Soviet crimes, I can only believe to your distress." Loewenstein declared that Nixon must make "it clear before you depart for Moscow that this action could endanger your summit talks."