100 Soviet Jews Say Repudiation of Trade Pact with U.S. Not Due to Jackson Amendment in Trade Law

Jews in the Soviet Union contend that Moscow’s repudiation of its 1972 trade pact with the United States had nothing to do with the incorporation of the Jackson Amendment linking trade and emigration practices into the new U.S. trade law. A letter stressing that point was sent to Western sources over the signatures of more than 100 Soviet Jews from eight of the largest cities in the USSR.

The letter stressed that there was now “even greater uncertainty regarding the fate of those Soviet Jews who are striving to go to Israel,” but pledged to “continue with even more determination to fight for our right to emigrate.”

The letter claimed that the USSR withdrew from its trade agreement with the U.S. because of the $300 million a year limit on Export-Import Bank credits to the Soviet Union imposed by the U.S. Congress. The signatories claimed that the limit was imposed “purely as a result of the increased price of crude oil and the attempt to control its sale by the Arab states and the role in this maneuvering played by the Soviet Union.”

In conclusion, the letter declared that “we are grateful to all those who are supporting us in this fight for immigration to Israel and we are sure that this support will remain firm in the future. The exodus of the Jews from the USSR is an historic phenomena and it would be idle to look upon it as a chance or temporary circumstance.”

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