WASHINGTON (Sep. 4)
President Carter voiced concern lobby over the decline of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union and said the United States would raise the issue at an international meeting in Madrid in November where compliance with the Helsinki accords will be reviewed. Carter made those remarks at a meeting with a delegation from the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ) who called on him to ask for help in view of new Soviet restrictions on the number of Jews seeking to emigrate.
Burton Levinson, chairman of the NCSJ, who led today’s delegation, met privately last evening with Republican Presidential standard bearer Ronald Reagan prior to his address to the B’nai B’rith international convention to discuss the declining Soviet Jewish emigration figures.
Reagan reportedly expressed deep concern about continued Soviet violations of human rights and assured Levinson and Maxwell Greenberg, chairman of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, who also attended the meeting, that free Jewish emigration remains a cornerstone of the Republican Party’s foreign policy goals.
In his meeting with the NCSJ delegation today, Carter said: “We are interested in the freedom of Jews throughout the world, particularly those who want to leave the Soviet Union for Israel. We are very deeply concerned about this.” Carter said he and his Secretary of State brought up the problem of Jewish emigration from the USSR every time they met with Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev or the Soviet Union’s Foreign Minister.