On Eve of Nixon Visit $5 Moscow Jews Appeal to Senators for Soviet Pledges for Emigration, Harassmen

Thirty-five Moscow Jews have made an urgent appeal to the U.S. Congress that it insist on “firm guarantees foreseeing free emigration of Jews from the USSR in reality and the complete end of all repressions and tyranny.” In a long cable to Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D.Wash.), Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (D. Conn.) and Sen. Jacob K. Javits (R.NY), the signers said they “have no doubt” that the repressions against Soviet Jewish activists for emigration to Israel “will become even more cruel in the next few days.”

President Nixon, accompanied by Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, is to arrive in Moscow tomorrow for his summit talks with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Kissinger has been meeting with the three Senators with the aim of bringing about a compromise in the Jackson Amendment which is blocking the extension of U.S. credits and most favored nation trade treatment to the Soviet Union until it ameliorates the conditions of emigration for Soviet citizens.

The three Senators received the cable last night and made it public today. Large numbers of Senators and Representatives, individually and in bipartisan blocs have already appealed to President Nixon to urge the Soviet leaders, immediately upon his arrival in Moscow, to release those imprisoned in advance of the summit conference and end the harassment of others. Twenty-one Senators, led by Walter Mondale (D.Minn.), and 40 Congressmen, signers of a message originated by Rep. Herman Badillo (D.NY), have asked the President to impress upon the Soviet officials the very deep concern over the “various forms of repression and intimidation” of Soviet Jewish citizens.

Signers of the cable to the Senators, including Victor Polsky, Maria Slepak and Alexander Lerner, alluded to Secretary Kissinger’s discussions with the Senators and noted that radio broadcasts have mentioned that Soviet authorities would make “a statement that the submission of an application for emigration from the USSR does not contradict the Soviet laws. We do not know whether the Soviet authorities will make such a statement officially but we do know, beyond all doubt, that the Soviet authorities had answered and are answering by tyranny and complete disregard for their own laws all the demands of observing the Soviet laws in regards to the Jews who had been deprived of the possibility to leave the USSR under various fabricated pretexts.”

“Our experience had confirmed numerous times that a Jew who had stated his desire to leave the USSR is placed outside the law,” the cable said and listed five ways in which the Jews are harassed and intimidated. The cable reported that KGB activities against Jews had far exceeded the depredations against them prior to the Nixon visit to Moscow in May 1972. “The KGB and the militia are breaking out the doors in the apartments of the Jews to send to prison the tenant of the apartment who had refrained from going into the street fearing an arrest, accusing him of disturbing public order. Following KGB instructions, the court today sentenced the Jews to prison terms in absentia and then the militia detains these people and no one of the relatives can find out about their fate.”

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