Reid Urges U.S. Action to Help Revise Soviet Policy in Mideast and Emigration of Soviet Jews
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Reid Urges U.S. Action to Help Revise Soviet Policy in Mideast and Emigration of Soviet Jews

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U.S. actions to help bring about revision of Soviet policies toward the Middle East and the emigration rights of its own citizens were advocated by Rep. Ogden Reid (D.NY) today. He also urged measures to help allow the 4000 Jews in Syria and the remnant remaining in Iraq also to emigrate.

Reld recently returned from an eight-day fact-finding tour to Israel where he had formerly been the U.S. Ambassador and met with Premier Golda Meir and other Israeli leaders. He also visited the Soviet Jewish emigration center in Vienna and spoke with newly arrived Soviet Jewish emigrants.

At a news conference in his office at the Capitol, Reid said there will be no change in the Middle East political climate “until the Soviet Union opts for genuine peace, and they are not doing this.” He said he wished the Soviet leaders would “re-read the history of 1967,” a reference to the Arab leaders’ threats against Israel that precipitated the Six-Day War.

Asked by a reporter how the U.S. could obtain influence with the Arabs if it did not “pressure Israel,” Reid replied, “that’s not the question. We can help create a diplomatic climate to make an agreement possible.” He advocated two elements in a U.S. policy. One would convince the USSR to pursue “genuine peace,” and the other to take “steps to facilitate direct negotiations between Israel and the Arabs, initially on the Rhodes formula (indirect talks) and then face to face.”

Discussing the growing tensions over the Middle East oil situation, Reid said that the Israel government was “very cool” under the circumstances but the Israeli press “is boring hard” into them. “The U.S. must develop self-sufficiency in oil by 1980 and not be subject to blackmail,” he said, referring to reports that Arab governments with oil reserves may curtail production to pressure the U.S. into altering its policy of supporting Israel.


Discussing Soviet emigration policy, Reid said that Soviet repression of Jewish emigration desires has grown since Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev’s visit to the United States in June. “Brezhnev’s sweet talk appears very hollow indeed in the light of the reports of individuals who have recently left the Soviet Union.” he said, referring to Brezhnev’s remarks to Senate Foreign Relations Committee members in Washington.

The Nixon Administration, Reid said, “must take a firmer position on the right to emigrate” at this time when it has “maximum leverage to have Russia adhere to the Declaration of Human Rights.” He said he would bring his views to the Congress and particularly to Secretary of State-designate Dr. Henry Kissinger who, he said, has in the past opposed the Jackson amendment.

Asked why the U.S. should meddle in internal Soviet affairs,” Reid replied that the U.S. is a signatory to the Declaration and “the right to emigrate is not an internal question but a human question.”

Reid reacted sharply to a reporter who asked whether Dr. Kissinger “as a Jew” will be impartial in his duties as Secretary of State. He characterized those who raise the question of Dr. Kissinger’s religious heritage and his official, duties as “reprehensible and irrelevant.”

A 71-year-old scientist, Prof. Leon Tummerman, a recent immigrant from Russian where he was head of the bioenergetics laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Biology of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, is among the group of 34 Weizmann Institute scientists attending the meeting of the European Societies for Immunology which opened in Strasbourg yesterday. This is Prof. Tummerman a first visit to the Western world as he was never allowed out of Russia in spite of the many invitations he had received to attend foreign conferences. He will deliver some of the 51 lectures to be given by the Israeli scientists.

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