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Shamir: Soviet Jews Who Immigrate to Countries Other Than Israel Endanger Efforts to Ease Emigration

Premier Yitzhak Shamir charged that Jews who leave the Soviet Union with Israeli visas but settle in countries other than Israel gravely endanger efforts to ease emigration restrictions for Soviet Jews.

During a Knesset debate on the issue Monday, Shamir said Israel should use every means at its disposal to end the drop-out phenomenon. He appealed to the Soviet government to allow direct flights from Moscow to Israel. At present, Jews leaving the USSR go to Vienna where they decide their ultimate destination. Only 104 Jews left the Soviet Union last month. The number who chose not to go to Israel was not immediately known.

Shamir also appealed to the Soviet authorities to grant Jewish citizens equal rights. Israel “does not seek to intervene in the internal affairs of the Soviet regime,” he said, but the fact is that of all Soviet national minorities, only the Jews are not allowed to live a national life of their own.