Rumania Promulgates New Regulations That Make It More Difficult for Jews to Emigrate

Jewish Agency chairman Leon Dulzin vowed today to “fight with all our strength” against newly promulgated regulations in Rumania that threaten drastically to curtail Jewish emigration from there. “As we succeeded in the past against the Russians, so too we will succeed again,” Dulzin said in a sharp statement issued in Jerusalem.

The new Rumanian rules require would-be emigrants to pay back to the state, in hard currency everything spent on them over the years for health, education and other state welfare cares. According to top Israeli experts, the regulation will mean in practice a very substantial sum in dollars to be paid by each and every Rumanian seeking to leave the country.

CAUGHT BY SURPRISE

The new regulations caught both Israel’s government and the Jewish Agency entirely by surprise, it is reliably learned here. There was no word of their impending promulgation mentioned during recent contacts, through intermediaries, between Premier Menachem Begin and Rumanian President Nicolae Ceausescu.

Israel Radio reported today that a senior Rumanian minister had visited Jerusalem recently on a mission from the President to the Premier. Some weeks ago, Begin’s Director-General, Mattityahu Shmuelevitz, undertook a similar mission–unpublished at the time — to Bucharest.

These quiet diplomacy contacts are understood to be in the context of Ceausescu’s long-standing and ongoing efforts to play a role in Mideast peacemaking, and especially to act as middle man between Israelis and Palestinians.

Dulzin in his statement today noted that in 1982 some 1,500 Rumanian Jews are making aliya to Israel. “But there are thousands more waiting to leave,” he added. “We will not rest until all Rumanian Jews who wish to do so are enabled to come home.”

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