NEW YORK (Jun. 19)
Terming press statements by HIAS purporting to represent World Zionist Organization chairman Leon Dulzin’s views on the drop-out question as “misleading,” Mrs. Charlotte Jacobson, chairman of the WZO-American Section, said today that such reports are a “disservice” to world Jewry and to the heroic struggle of Soviet Jewry for the right to go on aliya to Israel.
Mrs. Jacobson referred to Dulzin’s presentation at a recent meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, of the problem of Soviet Jews who left the Soviet Union with Israeli visas and then “dropped out” upon arrival in Vienna, and went to other countries. Dulzin did “no more or less than place before the American Jewish leadership a burning issue which, unless solved or ameliorated, places in jeopardy the future of the struggle of Soviet Jewry for aliya,” she said. “He did not make any specific proposals but challenged Jewish leadership to rise to this historic challenge with courage and foresight.”
Dulzin had not raised this issue in terms of the interests of any particular Jewish organization but rather “as a world Jewish problem fraught with historic consequences” for the future of the Jewish people, Jacobson said. She pointed out that if the drop-out rate should rise, as it may, to 70 percent or 80 percent of the Jews who leave the USSR, it will “undermine the heroic struggle of the Soviet Jewish activists who are basing their entire claim on the right to go to the Jewish homeland in Israel.”
Mrs. Jacobson said that Dulzin had informed the Presidents Conference that to leave the situation as it is could bring about a “catastrophe in the struggle for the freedom of Soviet Jewry,” and that those “who try to make this a diaspora-Israel conflict are doing a great disservice to the Jewish people.” Referring to a recent statement by Carl Glick, president of HIAS, that Dulzin believes that the choice for Soviet Jews should be to stay in the USSR or go to Israel, Mrs. Jacobson said that Dulzin never made such a statement nor does he believe this.