A concurrent resolution calling on Congress to “express the solidarity of the American people with the efforts to enlarge human freedom by the participants in the Second Brussels Conference” on Soviet Jewry was introduced today in the Senate by Sens. Clifford Case (R.NJ) and Henry M. Jackson (D.Wash.) and in the House by Rep. James Scheuer (D.NY). The Brussels Conference will be held from Feb. 17-19.
The resolution was preceded by a letter to all members of both Houses from the three initiators pointing out that the Brussels. Conference is a signal to the Kremlin “that the civilized world expects the Soviet Union to abide by all the international resolutions and declarations of human rights to which it has subscribed.” The letter referred specifically to the Helsinki Declaration signed by Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid Brezhnev and the UN Declaration of Human Rights that assured all people the right of free emigration.
The letter also pointed out that the First World Conference on Soviet Jewry held in Brussels five years ago “marked the beginning of large-scale intensive action on behalf of Soviet Jews.” It noted that in the period since then, 112,000 Soviet Jews received exit visas compared to only 10,000 in the 23 years from 1948, when the State of Israel was formed, until 1971.
The resolution stated that the struggle by Soviet Jews to emigrate has continued in face of severe repression and on the “eve of the (second Brussels) Conference is marked by increased intimidation and persecution of Soviet Jews who seek to emigrate” and a “new and widespread campaign of anti-Semitism within the Soviet Union.”
The resolution added that “The American people have, through legislation and in other ways, demonstrated their support for the struggle of Soviet Jews to be free.” The three sponsors urged Congress “to move expeditiously in this important bi-partisan expression of solidarity.”
(By Joseph Polakoff)
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.