NEW YORK (Jun. 11)
Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) urged President Bush on Sunday to grant most-favored-nation trade status to the Soviet Union now by waiving provisions of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment for one year.
In Indianapolis, meanwhile, the executive committee of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council adopted a resolution Monday urging those in the Jewish community relations field to “support the president when he invokes the waiver provision of Jackson-Vanik.”
A spokesman for NJCRAC, an umbrella group of 13 national Jewish organizations and 117 local community relations councils, explained that the resolution’s intent is to urge communities to support the president in any battle he may have with Congress over a waiver.
The resolution suggested Bush should issue the waiver “in response to Soviet assurances that would clearly enunciate the fundamental right to leave and return.”
But it did not say the president should insist on Soviet adoption of promised legislation that would codify reforms in emigration policy.
That is consistent with the stance taken by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, which has stressed that actual performance on emigration is more important than legislation. The conference favors a waiver if the president receives assurances that a number of obstacles to emigration have been removed.
In New York, Moynihan said the Jackson-Vanik waiver should be granted “without the impediment of any additional conditions that did not appear in the original legislation,” an apparent reference to the campaign in Congress to link the waiver to Soviet recognition of Lithuania’s bid for independence.
The current Soviet emigration rate, which could mean as many as 120,000 Jews leave the country this year, more than fulfills the amendment’s waiver requirement, he said.
The senator also called for the Soviet Union’s help in repealing the 1975 U.N. resolution equating Zionism with racism.
He urged the Soviet Union to “take a leadership role in the growing international campaign to repeal the obscene 1975 U.N. General Assembly resolution.”
Moynihan addressed 800 people at a dinner honoring Rabbi Arthur Schneier, senior rabbi of Park East Synagogue in Manhattan, on the 100th anniversary of the congregation.
Other speakers at the dinner included the chief rabbis of Moscow and Tel Aviv, Adolph Shayevich and Israel Lau, and Uriel Savir, consul general of Israel in New York New York Mayor David Dinkins greeted the guests at a reception preceding the dinner.