NEW YORK (Jun. 19)
The Workmen’s Circle called on Premier Shimon Peres of Israel today to reject an appeal by Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives, that he raise with President Reagan the issue of denying refugee status to Soviet Jews who leave the USSR with Israeli visas but do not settle in Israel.
Barnett Zumoff, president of the Workmen’s Circle, said in a letter to Peres that “the Dulzin appeal is narrow and assaults the right of Jews to freely emigrate wherever they choose.”
“We understand fully Dulzin’s concern and even his reasons.” Zumoff wrote. “At the same time, Soviet Jews who want to leave should be able to do so without moral or legal restraints. Those who choose to remain should be able to do so without harassment or curtailments of Jewish cultural or religious rights permitted to other citizens. This has been the historic and consistent desire of both Jews and non-Jews concerned with the problem.”
He added that “The conscience of Jews dedicated to rescuing our less fortunate brothers and sisters must be united on one thought: freedom — full freedom — of choice to emigrate, to travel to resettle.”