NEW YORK (Apr. 9)
Sen. George McGovern (D.SD) raised the possibility of the emigration of Syrian Jews to the United States at his recent meeting with President Hafez Assad in Damascus but found Assad’s conditions “utterly impossible,” Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson disclosed here today at a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Mrs. Jacobson, chairman of the American Section of the World Zionist Organization, said that she and McGovern were both in Israel at the same time last week. The Senator, winding up a fact-finding tour of the Middle East in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on Middle Eastern Affairs, disclosed his conversation with President Assad in which he brought up the question of Syrian Jews and the possibility of their emigration from Syria.
McGovern said that Assad told him he could not allow Syrian Jews to go to Israel and thereby strengthen a nation with which Syria is in a state of war. McGovern said he told the Syrian President that arrangements could be made to admit Syrian Jews to the U.S. Assad replied that he would permit such emigration on condition that the U.S. enacted a law forbidding these Jews from ever going to Israel. McGovern told Assad that that was “utterly impossible,” Mrs. Jacobson said.