TEL AVIV (Sep. 24)
Tourists returning from Rumania have charged that country’s liberalization of its emigration policies for Jews seeking to go to Israel was short-lived and a sham. According to these sources, the Rumanian authorities opened the gates only long enough to secure their much sought trade agreement with the United States, Since then, the Bucharest regime has drastically decreased the number of new exit visas and cancelled some of those already issued, the sources claimed.
They said Jews who had received visas were called in by the authorities and informed that the committee which issues exit permits had reversed its decision and the permits were cancelled. The number of Jews allowed to emigrate in August and September is poor and the prospects for the future are very gloomy, the persons just returned from Rumania reported.
The increase in exit visas granted Jews and others last summer was sufficiently impressive to cause Congress to waive the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to the U.S. Trade Act and extend most favored nation status to Rumania. The Amendment withholds such status from Communist bloc countries that impose restrictions on the emigration of their citizens. Some circles here believe the Rumanians were acting under pressure from the Arab League which threatened to blacklist the Rumanian national airline, Tarom, for carrying, Jewish immigrants to Israel.