Soviet Jews and Whales: Are Both Endangered Species?

Rep. John M. Murphy (D.NY) raised eyebrows among some of his Jewish constituents when they received a yesno questionnaire he mailed out last week incongruously Juxtaposing Soviet Jews with whales. The congressional questionnaire, which dealt with such issues as impeachment, inflation, amnesty, abortion, housing and foreign policy, listed the following question under foreign policy:

“Do you think that the United States should use trade to influence foreign policy in other countries, as in the case of Jewish emigration from Russia, and the overkilling of whales by the Japanese?” Several Jewish constituents called the Jewish Telegraphic Agency editorial office here wondering whether the juxtaposition signified in Murphy’s mind that Soviet Jews, like the whales, are an endangered species.

OTHER TROUBLESOME QUESTIONS

Some callers also noted that two other questions under foreign policy were also troublesome. One question asked: “Do you feel that we should provide arms to Israel if it is necessary to do so in order to maintain the balance of power in the Middle East?” The next question asked: “Do you feel that we should provide arms to Arab countries to maintain the balance of power in the Middle East?” Several callers noted that the phrase, “if it is necessary to do so,” in the first question was omitted in the next question, thus implying that arms for Israel may not be a necessity. Murphy was not immediately available for comment.

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