JERUSALEM (Sep. 24)
President Reagan has asked seven top Western European leaders to lend their help in efforts to alleviate the plight of Soviet Jews, it was disclosed here today by Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives.
Dulzin, just returned from a meeting of the presidium of the World Conference on Soviet Jewry in London, also disclosed that future appeals to the Soviet authorities to allow Jews to leave will be based on “repatriation” to Israel rather than family re-unification which has been the rationale until now.
Dulzin said today that a senior U.S. diplomat, Max Kampelman, the American Ambassador to the European Security Conference, delivered Reagan’s letter to the European statesmen, including Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain and President Francois Mitterrand of France. Dulzin singled out Thatcher and Mitterrand for warm praise for their actions and intercessions on behalf of Soviet Jews. He said the condition of Jews in the USSR are “growing worse” and their urgent plea to us is: ‘Shake the world with your public cry on our behalf’. “The London conference, attended by representatives of Jewish communities throughout the free world, expressed grave concern over the deterioration of the situation of Jews in the Soviet Union.
Dulzin said there were good grounds to expect that Secretary of State George Shultz will raise the issue of Soviet Jewry with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko when they meet at the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.
He said the Soviet position on the matter has been contradictory. Of late they have been saying, “When other East-West issues improve, this matter too will improve.” But on other occasions the Soviets simply deny that any problem exists, Dulzin said.
KEY NOW IS REPATRIATION
He announced that from now on the key element in the struggle for Soviet Jews, inside the USSR and abroad, will be repatriation, meaning the right of Jews to return to their homeland, Israel. The switch from family re-unification was decided because, among other things, not all Russian Jews seeking to leave have relatives in Israel.
Dulzin claimed the repatriation theme would have “a very clear connotation regarding the noshrim” if and when the gates of the USSR are re-opened, which, he believes, is possible during 1985. “Noshrim” is the term applied to Soviet Jews who, after leaving the USSR, opt to settle in countries other than Israel.
According to Dulzin, repatriation has persuasive precedents in Soviet jurisprudence. He recalled that in 1956, the Soviet authorities allowed Polish Jews scattered throughout the Soviet Union to be repatriated to Poland — from where many subsequently left for Israel. Similarly, the Soviets have in the past granted the right of repatriation to ethnic Germans, Spaniards and Greeks living in the USSR, Dulzin said.