Jerusalem (Dec. 30)
The Presidium of the Brussels Conference on Soviet Jewry will meet in Washington in three weeks to plan a campaign of world-wide pressure on the Soviet Union to increase the number of Jews allowed to emigrate, it was announced here today by Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives.
Dulzin said the precipitous decline in Soviet Jewish emigration was largely responsible for the near record low of immigration to Israel in 1981. Figures just released showed that only 12,000 olim arrived this year, the smallest number since 1953. They included 2,200 from the U.S. and 1,820 from the USSR. Dulzin noted that this was the first time in a decade that more immigrants came from America than from the Soviet Union.
He blamed the Soviet closed-door policy on the high rate of drop-outs. Of the 9,400 Jews allowed to leave Russia this year, 7,580 chose to go to countries other than Israel.
Dulzin said the pressure campaign on the Soviet Union could be effective now that an agreement has been reached with HIAS to implement the Israel government-Jewish Agency plan to reduce the number of dropouts. The plan requires HIAS to deny assistance to Soviet Jewish emigres seeking to go to the U.S. unless they have first degree relatives — parents, spouses or children — in that country.
Dulzin observed that aliya from the West continued this year at the rate of about 10,000, consistent with past years’ figures. There were 1,450 immigrants from France, about 1,000 from Rumania, 900 from Argentina, 800 from Britain and 200 from South Africa.