MONTREAL (May. 8)
The co-author of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment called here Monday on Jews to support a one-year waiver of provisions of the statute that deny U.S. trade benefits to the Soviet Union because of its emigration policies.
Former U.S. Rep. Charles Vanik (D-Ohio), addressing a luncheon session of the World Jewish Congress Executive, stressed that “the waiver will not pass without the consent and support of the Jewish community of America.”
“The Congress waits for Jewish support in favor of it and so does the president,” he said. He added, “The Jewish community of the Soviet Union will be first to profit from a waiver.”
Vanik, who with the late Sen. Henry Jackson (D-Wash.) drafted the amendment 14 years ago, at a time of severe restrictions on emigration on emigration from the Soviet Union, made clear he does not want it abolished.
“The original Jackson-Vanik Amendment is not repealable in this century,” he said. But he said he favors a one-year waiver “unencumbered by condition.”
The WJC Executive session is being held here in conjunction with the 22nd plenary assembly of the Canadian Jewish Congress, which is the representative body of Canadian Jewry. The sessions opened at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel Sunday and continue through Tuesday.
Addressing a joint session Sunday night, WJC President Edgar Bronfman predicted that 40,000 Soviet Jews will emigrate this year and 80,000 in 1990.
He announced that the WJC has “decided to hold our next Executive meeting in Moscow.”
Bronfman also disclosed that the WJC is “now having discussions with East Germany and Czechoslovakia and will soon open a WJC office in Budapest.”