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Shultz Tells Jewish Group He’s ‘very Disturbed’ About Status of Soviet Jews

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Secretary of State George Shultz is “very disturbed” about the recent developments regarding the status of Soviet Jewry including the formation several weeks ago of the Soviet government-sponsored “Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public,” according to a spokesman for the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ).

Shultz met for one hour at the State Department yesterday with 13 Jewish leaders, led by Theodore Mann, chairman of the NCSJ, and was presented with a report from the NCSJ called, “Andropov’s Jewish policy, ” an analysis of the new offensive against Soviet Jews prepared for the Soviet Jewry group by Dr. William Korey, the director of policy research for B’nai B’rith International. The Korey report states that the “character and direction” of Andropov’s Jewish policy are “ominous.”

According to a spokesman for the NCSJ, the Jewish group included leaders from national organizations and a representative of the Republican Jewish Coalition. The meeting, which came about as a result of the World Conference on Soviet Jewry in Jerusalem last March, was agreed to at this time by the State Department because of the recent developments in the Soviet Union, primarily the anti-Zionist committee.

SOVIET GROUPS CALLED ANTI-SEMITIC

The general consensus to arise from the meeting was that the anti-Zionist committee was anti-Semitic, according to the NCSJ spokesman. The committee, formed of several prominent Jews, asserted at a June 6 press conference in Moscow that the majority of Jews who wish to emigrate from the Soviet Union have already done so.

The spokesman said that Shultz was “very receptive” to the suggestion put forward that the United States take the lead in seeking support for Soviet Jews from other Western democracies. “The Secretary was very sympathetic to that approach,” the spokesman said.

Noting that it was the first meeting of substantive issues on Soviet Jewry between Shultz and the Jewish leaders, the spokesman asserted that the “group left aware that the Secretary does care … (but) realized however that nobody has all the answers at this moment” to the problems facing Soviet Jews.

NAZI, STALIN ERAS EVOKED

The Korey report, meanwhile, said of the anti-Zionist Committee, that “a special public institutional form for legitimizing the policy has been created, elements of which evoke memories of the Nazi era and of Stalin’s last days.” Korey asserted that four separate but interrelated features are involved:

“An end to emigration entirely; the cutting off of the Soviet Jewish community from relations with its brethren abroad; an intensification of the program of forced cultural and linguistic assimilation; and a broadening of the anti-Zionist propaganda campaign, drawing into it new anti-Semitic elements that have their origin in Czarist Black Hundred canards and in recent neo-Nazi themes.”

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