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10 Refuseniks Plea for Help from Israel, World Jewry

Ten refuseniks, who have trying in vain, for more than a decade to obtain exit visas in order to immigrate to Israel, called on the Israel government and world Jewry for help, in a petition made public by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ) here today.

They have called specifically for Israel and world Jewry to press for a “precise agreement” with the Soviet Union for “unhindered repatriation of Soviet Jews to Israel.” If this is denied, the petitioners warned, “the Jewish community in the Soviet Union would be in danger … of total disappearance” as a distinct cultural and religious group.

They noted in that connection that “despite all international laws and agreements, our and your struggle of many years to exercise this natural human right, the repatriation of Soviet Jews to Israel, has been virtually terminated.”

The signatories to the petition, dated May 5, are: Arkady Mai and his wife, Helen Seidel; Aleksandr Lerner; Vladimir Slepak; Abe Stolyar; Naum Kogan; and Lev Ovsishcher, all of Moscow ; the brothers Isai and Grigory Goldstein of Tbilisi; and Dmitry Golenko, of Tashkent.

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