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USSR Denounced for Cia Charge

Two major organizations active on behalf of Soviet Jews denounced the Soviet Union today for accusing several leading emigration activists in Moscow of being in the service of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Brooklyn District Attorney Eugene Gold. Chairman of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, said the latest Soviet attack on Jewish activists was “a test of the American peoples’ resolve on behalf of basic human rights.”

He was referring to an open letter and an accompanying article in the Soviet government newspaper Izvestia last Friday alleging that the activists were trying to engage other dissidents in espionage for the CIA. “In fact.” Gold said, “the Izvestia article is a shoddy smokescreen to cloud the fact that hundreds of Jewish activists have been refused their requests for exit visas. The struggle of these refusniks for the last decade has been for the right to leave, to be reunited with their families and to live as Jews in Israel.”

Bronx Borough President Robert Abrams, chairman of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry, charged that the latest crackdown “represents the Soviet Union’s way of telling President Carter to back down on his firm stand on the issue of human rights.” Gold said, “The new wave of persecution of Soviet Jews, including charges that some activists are engaged in espionage, the searches of the apartments of Jewish leaders, threats of imprisonment and the Soviet ban on the importation of matzos signal a possible showdown between the USSR and Soviet Jewish activists.”

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