Issue of Soviet Jewry at Helsinki Review Confab in Madrid

Dr. Immanuel Jakobovits, Britain’s Chief Rabbi, flew to Madrid today to take up the issue of Soviet Jewry with delegates to the conference on European Security and Cooper- ation. He will be joining other European Chief Rabbis who are taking part in a prolonged lobby of the conference which is reviewing the observance of the Helsinki agreements’ provisions on human rights. Last week, European Jewish lay leaders were in Madrid to lobby their countries delegates over Soviet Jewry.

Greville Janner, MP, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on his return that he had been surprised by the insistence with which one Western country after another had been” laying into the Russians” over human rights. The Canadians had accused them of using anti-Zionism as a cloak for anti-Semitism.

In Janner’s view, the Russians themselves had been taken aback by the refusal of the Western states to let the human rights issue be submerged. Even some Warsaw Pact countries had attempted to press the Soviet Union over implementation of the Helsinki agreements’ Final Act, he said.

Jewish leaders from France, Belgium and Switzerland were also in Madrid of the same time. The whole exercise, Janner said, was a tribute to the new spirit of cooperation being shown by the Jewish communities of Europe, under the combined pressures of resurgent anti-Semitism and the Arab oil lobby. Soviet Jewry, campaign leaders, including Rita Eker, chairman of the British Women’s Campaign for Soviet Jewry, have also visited Madrid.

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