TEL AVIV (May. 22)
Philip Klutznick, president of the World Jewish Congress, strongly defended Jewish organizations that provide aid to “noshrim,” Soviet Jews who choose to settle in countries other than Israel after they leave the USSR. Addressing a meeting of Israeli editors at Beth Sokolow yesterday, Klutznick said those organizations operate according to the principle of freedom of choice which means that they see it as their duty to help Jews find a home wherever they choose.
“Israel’s failure is probably not in absorbing immigrants but rather in attracting them,” Klatznick said. He observed that Soviet Jewish emigration is increasing while Iranian Jews, who are beginning to feel the pressure to move, hesitate since they are wary about applying for exit visas from the present regime. He said the primary concern of the World Jewish Congress in the coming year will be to maintain Jewish unity throughout the world and to safeguard the interests of Jews in places where it is necessary to do so.
With respect to the Middle East, Klutznick noted that next year is a Presidential election year in the U.S. and that will have repercussions on the situation. But he said he was convinced that the Carter Administration is resolved to remain invelved in the Middle East negotiations. That is why President Carter nominated a strong negotiator, Robert Strauss, to represent the U.S. at the autonomy talks between Israel and Egypt, Klutznick said.
Dr. Nahum Goldmann, former WJC president, spoke at a meeting of the WJC’s Israel Executive. He warned that while the Soviet Union must be called upon to open its gates to those Jews who want to leave, the Jews who choose to remain in the Soviet Union must be protected and their rights as a minority secured.