JERUSALEM (Oct. 14)
Foreign Minister Yigal Allon disclosed last night that the questions of Russian and Syrian Jewry were raised with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger during his talks with Israeli leaders here. Another subject was Israel’s continuing efforts to get the Egyptian authorities to agree to a resumption of the search for the bodies of Israeli soldiers missing on the Sinai front since the Yom Kippur War, Allon said.
He reported on those aspects of the Kissinger visit shortly after the Secretary of State left Israel for Saudi Arabia, the last stop on his current Mideast tour. Kissinger said, before departing from Ben Gurion Airport that he was convinced. Israel desired peace “more than any other country.” He repeated his previous statement–when he arrived in Israel–that there was no truth in reports of “difficulties and suspicion” between him and the Israeli leaders.
Allon said that Kissinger was asked to bring up the matter of Soviet Jews during his visit to Moscow later this month and to use American influence to convince the Russians to permit Jews to emigrate without delay. Allon stated that the Israeli leaders also stressed to Kissinger the increasingly serious plight of Jews in Syria. “We told him we understood the difficulty of raising this subject as a political question, but we thought it should be raised as a top priority humanitarian question,” the Foreign Minister said.
ISSUE OF MIAS ALSO RAISED
He said Kissinger was also informed of the dismay in Israel over Egypt’s refusal to permit the continuation of the battlefield search for missing men and was asked to raise that matter in his next round of talks with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. “We do not understand why the Egyptians are so harsh about it,” Allon said They called a halt to the body search several months ago although at least 58 bodies remain undiscovered.
A similar plea was made to Kissinger when he met with the parents of missing soldiers. They urged his intervention on the issue but all he could say was that he was acting on it and would continue to do so in the future, a source who attended the meeting reported.
The Secretary was also petitioned by a group of recent emigres from the USSR to ask Soviet authorities to permit the emigration of the children of Russian-Jewish activists who are refused visas. The group, all residents of an absorption center at Mevasseret Zion, outside of Jerusalem, appeared outside the King David Hotel where Kissinger stayed during his brief visit. They did not take part in the anti-Kissinger demonstrations going on at the same time. (See separate story)
The emigres explained in a letter to Kissinger that Jewish activists were asking friends in Israel to receive their children until such time as they were permitted to leave Russia.