JERUSALEM (Aug. 24)
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has come out in support of Washington’s restoring Rumania’s Most Favored Nation status of which it was recently deprived by the U.S. Congress because of American concern over human rights violations in Rumania.
Shamir, who paid an official visit to Bucharest last week, told visiting U.S. Sen. John Breaux (D. La.) this week that he wished the Jews in the Soviet Union received the same treatment as the Hungarian minority in Rumania.
It is the treatment of this minority that has been the focus of much concern in Washington.
Shamir added that Rumania was the only country in the Communist bloc which enabled its Jewish community to enjoy a full Jewish life. Bucharest, moreover, had permitted free Jewish emigration over the years and indeed the great bulk of the community had gone to live in Israel. Shamir said these aspects of Rumanian policy should be taken into account in Washington.
During his visit to Bucharest, Rumanian officials denied that President Nicolae Ceausescu was seeking Shamir’s help in Washington. But observers nevertheless felt this was one of the important factors involved in the Rumanian President’s invitation to the Israeli Premier.