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USSR Slashing Jewish Emigration

Only 524 Jews arrived in Vienna from the Soviet Union during the first three weeks of November, indicating another cutback in Soviet Jewish emigration. If this rate continues the total for the month will be only 800, the lowest since last August when the Soviet passport offices were reportedly too busy with the Olympic Games in Moscow to issue emigration visas.

In September 1300 Jews emigrated and in October the figure was 1400. The decline in the November figures and the arrest Nov. 13 of Dr. Victor Brailovsky, the Moscow Jewish activist, has increased the fear of Soviet immigrants in Israel that the USSR might be shutting the door on emigration.

LINK BETWEEN EMIGRATION AND DETENTE

Ruth Bar-On, an official of the Israel Public Council for Soviet Jewry, said today that there was a direct link between emigration and the state of detente. “Somehow the Jews are always a thermometer of the relations between East and West,” she said. “I feel that they the Soviets) intend to give a big blow to the whole emigration movement.”

She said that the hope that the review conference on the Helsinki accords in Madrid would result in increased emigration has proven false. This might be a way of telling the West that the Soviets do not care at all about their human rights grievances,” she said.

Meanwhile, of the 524 Jews who reached Vienna this month only a quarter came to Israel. Activists here blame the high dropout rate for the weakening pressure on the Soviet Union.

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