SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 27)
Members of the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews will be focusing on an unusual U.S./USSR sports event this Friday evening at the Cow Palace, it was announced by Lillian Foreman, president of the Council.
Council members will be leafletting the Napa Naturals International Challenge “USA vs. RUSSIA”, a volleyball game between the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team and the Soviet Men’s National Team, as part of a nation-wide effort.
“We encourage and applaud all avenues of dialogue between the United States and the Soviet Union. Accordingly, we welcome the Soviet team to San Francisco, and look forward to many such visits in the future,” Foreman said. “However, because of the worsening situation for Jews in the Soviet Union, we feel the need to take all opportunities to communicate with Soviet citizens about our concerns.” Foreman was referring to the recent arrests and convictions of several Jews in the Soviet Union this month.
The Bay Area Council intends to use this international sports event as a forum for informing the public, press, and Soviet representatives of the dramatic increase in virulent anti-Semitism in the official Soviet media; the continuing Soviet harassment, including firings, dismissals from institutes, and KGB raids, of Jews who have been refused permission to emigrate; and the repeated Soviet violations of international treaties, including the Helsinki Accords and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, Foreman said.
“As you know, these are difficult days for Soviet Jews, indeed for all oppressed groups in the USSR. It is more important than ever that human rights supporters here in the West speak out in solidarity with those who seek their freedom in the Soviet Union,” said David Waksberg, executive director of the Bay Area Council for Soviet Jews.