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Detention of Katzir a ‘despicable Act’ Says Herzog

President Chaim Herzog denounced the Soviet Union’s harassment of former President Ephraim Katzir in Leningrad last weekend as “a despicoble act.”

Katzir, who was Israel’s fourth President, and his wife Nina, were arrested by KGB agents when they attempted to visit the home of a Jewish refusenik in Leningrad Sunday and were questioned for about 90 minutes at local police headquarters. Herzog called the incident a “gross violation of the accepted norms of conduct between civilized nations … a despicoble act.” (See separate storyfa Katzir’s account of his detention.)

Speaking at the Hebrew University where he received an honorary doctorate yesterday, Herzog said Israel and the Jewish people would not ignore this affront and would demand that the USSR make amends.

The newspaper Davar reported today that four other Israeli scientists who, with Katzir, were attending a conference of European bio-chemists in Moscow, were summarily expelled from the USSR because they tried to contact Russian Jews.

Israeli observers interpret the mistreatment of President and Mrs. Katzir and the ouster of other visiting Israelis as a warning that any Israelis intending to visit the Soviet Union had better steen clear of Jewish activists there.

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