Menu JTA Search

Rosenne: Don’t Listen to Soviet Rumors

Meir Rosenne, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, has warned American Jews not to be taken in by “rumors spread by the Soviets” that the release of several thousand Jewish refuseniks from the USSR is imminent.

“If the Russians want to make a gesture, they don’t need to announce it,” the Israeli envoy told 200 delegates attending the Pan-American Convention of the World Union of General Zionists here. “All they need do is start releasing the 400,000 Jewish men, women and children who have applied to emigrate to Israel.”

Rosenne declared there has been “no change” in the Soviet attitude toward Israel but noted “some change” in the position of Poland. He said that Poland recently announced it would open an “interest section” in a third country’s embassy in Israel. While this is the “lowest form” of diplomatic recognition, it raises some hope that the Polish government ultimately will raise the level of its relations with Israel to that of resident ambassador, Rosenne said.

Rosenne urged his audience to “continue the struggle for Soviet Jews so that they are not forgotten, so that the Russians will know they cannot improve relations with the West while they continue to persecute Jews, and so that those in the Kremlin who understand the importance of improving the USSR’s human rights policy will have ammunition for their positions.”

NEXT STORY