WASHINGTON (Jul. 21)
Michael Gale, President Reagan’s liaison with the Jewish community, reiterated the Administration’s position that it will raise the issue of Soviet Jewry emigration at all “top level” meetings between the United States and the Soviet Union.
“The President shares your hope that the leaders in the Soviet Union will reconsider their policies on emigration and human rights and renew their commitment to the Helsinki Final Act, not just with empty words, but with deeds,” Gale told some 100 persons attending the daily noon vigil across from the Soviet Embassy here yesterday. It was the first time in the 11-year history of the vigil that a White House official had participated.
The vigil was dedicated to Ida Nudel, who had been exiled to Siberia and released last March. Before the vigil, a five-member delegation from the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ) and the Jewish Community Council (JCC) of Greater Washington met with Elizabeth Dole, director of the White House office of public liaison, to urge the President’s help on behalf of Nudel.
They said Nudel was denied permission to return to Moscow after she was freed and was sent to the Riga only to be told that she would not receive a residency permit there. She is believed to be travelling to Strunino. Dole, who said she was “chilled” by the Soviet mistreatment of Nudel, said she would urge Reagan and Secretary of State George Shultz to intervene on Nudel’s behalf.
‘A PERSON WITHOUT A STATE’
At the vigil, Joan Sacarob of Hadassah attempted unsuccessfully to deliver petitions on behalf of Nudel to the Soviet Embassy. The Jewish group had stressed to Dole that Nudel seemed to be a “person without a state in a country that will not permit her to emigrate.” They said she has suffered enough and should be allowed to emigrate to Israel and to be united with her sister, Elena Fridman.
At the vigil, Gale declared that Nudel “reminds us that there are thousands of Soviet Jews and others who desire to emigrate. The President has been deeply disturbed by recent reports that the flow of emigrants from the Soviet Union has been sharply reduced. “
The Jewish delegation included Nathan Lewin, president of the JCC of Greater Washington; David Harris, Washington representative of the NCSJ, Sol Goldstein,an NCSJ board member; Marcia Weinberg, the JCC’s Soviet Jewry chairperson; and Samuel Sislin, the JCC’s director of international affairs.