MIAMI (Jul. 14)
The launch of the Apollo-Soyuz test project at Cape Canaveral tomorrow will be an occasion for a mass rally urging cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union not only in the exploration of space but in the human area of easing emigration restrictions against Soviet Jews.
The rally will be sponsored by the South Florida Conference on Soviet Jewry, a committee of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s community relations committee, jointly with the Soviet Jewry Committee of the Jewish Community Council of Central Florida.
It will be held at the Kennedy Space Center just before the 4 p.m. launch of the American Apollo for a link-up in orbit with the Soviet Soyuz space vehicle. Congressional and civic leaders from various parts of the country are expected to attend.
The rally will be the occasion for releasing a letter addressed to the Soviet and American astronauts from the Moscow Jewish scientist Alexander Druck. The letter claims that in view of the open exchange of space technology between the Soviet Union and the U.S. there is no longer any pretext for the Soviet authorities to deny emigration visas to Jewish scientists who had worked on the space project on the grounds of secrecy.
Druck’s letter calls on the American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts to “use your influence for the triumph of justice and humanity.”
A new “Freedom Flag” of Soviet Jewry, consisting of a white Star of David on a sky-blue field, will be unfurled for the first time at the rally. The flag is a presentation to the free world from Soviet Jews harassed by Soviet officials and denied visas. It was raised secretly in Moscow and was smuggled out of that country by Dr. Morton Freiman of Miami and his wife, Tina, on their return from a visit to the USSR.
NOT AIMED AT SPACE PROJECT
Spokesmen for the Jewish organizations stressed that the rally was not aimed against the joint space project but against the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union–both those remaining there and those seeking exit visas.
In New York, meanwhile, Dr. Jack Cohen, of the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md. and Dr. H. Eugene Stanley, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, national co-chairmen of the Committee of Concerned Scientists, released a statement on the joint space flight and the situation of Soviet Jews.
It noted that “While the astronauts link up in space, minute details of technology which made the rendezvous possible, will be read by millions of people all over the world, but on earth, Soviet space scientist Alexander Druck is still denied permission to emigrate on the pretext that his space knowledge is ‘secret.'” The statement also observed that “Cooperation in space should be matched by cooperation on earth and as long as Soviet scientists cannot deal freely with Western colleagues, and while Soviet abuse of science and scientists increases, we can have no faith in the expectations raised by the emphasis on detente.”