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Soviets Should Allow Direct Flights, Vice President Tells Orthodox Leaders

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The Bush administration is continuing to urge the Soviet Union to permit direct flights to Israel, Vice President Dan Quayle told a group of Orthodox rabbis and lay leaders here Sunday.

“Proclaiming the right to immigrate is not enough. (President) Bush is urging normalized diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Israel, and direct flights to Israel,” the vice president declared at the annual dinner of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.

Quayle was in New York to receive the organization’s humanitarian award in recognition of “his distinguished public career and his forth-right championship of the safety and security of the State of Israel.”

But the vice president received more of a fanfare welcome than he expected when a smoke bomb exploded in the lobby of the Sheraton Centre Hotel shortly before the dinner began.

The “incendiary device,” as police called it, was discovered in the cloakroom located one floor below the ballroom. According to the official police report, no bomb threats were received and the incident “did not appear to be connected with Quayle’s visit.”

Although the bomb detonated hours before Quayle arrived, the smoke lingered in the hotel throughout the ceremonies. But that did not seem to disturb the vice president, who used his address to speak out against anti-Semitism and in favor of a continued strong U.S.-Israel alliance.

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