JERUSALEM (Dec. 23)
Jewish Agency Executive chairman Pinhas Sapir said here yesterday he was confident that the American parties in the Soviet trade pact agreement would carefully watch its implementation. It was “not for nothing” that the 18-month clause had been inserted into the trade bill, enabling a review of the freedom of emigration situation at the end of the period.
He was aware, he said, of Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko’s letter last week rejecting the trade-emigration link. But the Soviets were vitally interested in the benefits attainable from the trade bill, Sapir noted, adding he was hopeful that they would act to ensure that it was not rescinded.
Sapir spoke at the Western Wall at a rally to mark the fourth anniversary of the Leningrad hijack trial. He called the episode “one of the most glorious in the annals of Jewry’s fight for its rights in the world at large and in Russia.” Whatever happened to the trade bill, Sapir said, he was confident that “the door that was opened in 1971,” in part as a result of the Leningrad episode, “would not be closed again.”