Jackson Calls for New Efforts by the West to Help Soviet Jews Emigrate
Menu JTA Search

Jackson Calls for New Efforts by the West to Help Soviet Jews Emigrate

Download PDF for this date

Sen. Henry Jackson (D.Wash.) has called for a resurgence by the West to help Soviet Jews and others emigrate and reverse the development by Soviet authorities of obstacles against their emigration.

Pointing to the drop in Soviet emigration in recent months, Jackson told the Senate Tuesday “There are many reasons why the Soviets are pursuing these policies, and one reason may be that they think the United States and the West do not really care anymore.”

“At one time,” the principal author of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment dealing with Soviet emigration and U.S. trade said, “the fate of Soviet Jewry and the cause of freer emigration were a primary subject of public attention. Of late, public attention has focused on Iran, Afghanistan, Camp David, negotiations, Poland and the Iran-Iraq war. It is high time, ” Jackson added, “to make abundantly clear that we do care about those denied their fundamental right to emigrate.”

Jackson observed that, “In this respect, the Helsinki conference is an especially welcome opportunity. Let the public in this country now call upon our government and the other Western governments to champion at Helsinki the emigration right of Jews, Christians, and others who can no longer tolerate or be tolerated by a repressive government.”

Jackson has personally urged the Helsinki conference which is to review the Helsinki accords beginning Nov. Il in Madrid to “give special attention to the fate of the Soviet and East European members of the groups formed to monitor compliance with the Helsinki accords. “He said more than 40 of those members are imprisoned or exiled.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund