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Dulzin Wants Refugee Status Denied Soviet Jewish Emigres with Visas for Israel but Who Go Elsewhere

Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives, wants refugee status denied to Soviet Jews who emigrate from the USSR with Israeli visas but do not settle in Israel. He said today that he has urged Premier Shimon Peres to raise the issue with President Reagan.

Jews leaving the Soviet Union are admitted to the United States as refugees. Most of the so-called drop-outs settle in the U.S. Dulzin discussed the matter at the weekly meeting of the WZO Executive after one member, Arye Zimuki, noted that out of 463 Jews allowed to leave the Soviet Union between January and May, 1985, 312 chose not to go to Israel, a drop-out rate of 67.5 percent.

Dulzin said he told Peres at a recent meeting that the drop-out phenomenon hurts Israel and is a painful insult. He said he wanted the Premier to take, it up with Reagan because “Soviet Jewry is dear to us no less than weapons and money.”

Dulzin said he urged Peres also to ask Reagan to press Moscow to enter into a direct dialogue with Israel regarding Jewish emigration. Dulzin believes such talks could lead to direct flights between Moscow and Tel Aviv which would give the emigres no choice but Israel as their destination. Presently most Russian Jews stopover in Vienna or Rome where, if they choose, they are processed for admission to the U.S.