LONDON (Aug. 27)
Israel Miller, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization, is flying to Rumania today as guest of the Rumanian government. During a stopover in London he told the JTA that the Rumanian invitation was extended to him by their charge d’affaires in Israel during the recent Jewish Agency Assembly in Jerusalem. He is interested in looking into the question of aliya facilities there.
Rabbi Miller said he met President Nicolae Ceausescu during the latter’s visit to the U.S., and had been in contact with the Rumanian Ambassador in Washington, particularly after the U.S. Jewish community protested restrictions on Jewish emigration during U.S. Congressional hearings on the Rumanian request for the most-favored-nation trade pact, Rabbi Miller noted that during January to May only 400 Rumanian Jews left for Israel. To the best of this knowledge at least 30,000 out of an estimated 80,000 Jews wished to leave for Israel.
PROTEST WAS JUSTIFIED
Rabbi Miller said: “I feel justified in our protest for now larger numbers have been allowed to emigrate.” He stated that the Rumanian experience had demonstrated that the Jackson Amendment does work. He noted that the U.S. Administration’s argument, at the time, that trade could not be linked with human rights had now been disproved.
The post-Helsinki period, Rabbi Miller said, has shown that all declarations made in Finland had not altered Soviet practice. The case of Lev Roitburd highlighted this, he observed.
On his way back from Bucharest, Rabbi Miller said he will attend the consultations on Soviet Jewry scheduled for next week in Paris. The meeting had been initiated by Pinhas Sapir.
This meeting, Rabbi Miller said, was part of annual discussions among Soviet Jewry campaigners from the U.S., Europe and Israel. They will evaluate the situation and consider future action, he said. As to the meeting Kissinger had with the Conference of Presidents delegation last week, Rabbi Miller stated he was only ready to say “we will support the Administration when it makes the proper decisions.”