Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Klein Says Nixon ‘did Discuss’ Soviet Jewry Problem in Moscow; Sen. Tunney Says He Doubts It

June 8, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Herbert Klein, the White House Director of Communications, said on a New York radio show this morning that President Nixon “did discuss the issue of Soviet Jewry and American concern was made known to all top Soviet leaders as well as those on lower levels” during the Moscow summit talks last month. Klein, who appeared on the John Gambling show on WOR, made that statement when he was telephoned during the program by Malcolm Hoenlein, director of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry. Klein said the President was aware “of the concern of all thinking Americans, not only those of the Jewish community, regarding the plight of Soviet Jews.” He added that this problem is viewed as a very delicate one, especially since the Soviets see it as an internal issue.

WOR Bureau Chief Cliff Evans, who travelled with the Presidential party in the USSR, told Hoenlein that American reporters were unable to contact Jewish activists in Moscow and while they arranged a meeting with one Jew in Leningrad, he never showed up, Evans’ description confirmed a Moscow dispatch last week from Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent Joseph Polakoff who covered the summit meeting for JTA.

(In Washington today, the Congressional Record carried a speech by Sen. John V. Tunney (D. Calif.) in which he said “It does not appear that the President even raised the issue of the treatment of Jews by the Soviet government” during the summit talks. Sen. Tunney made the speech at a United Jewish Appeal dinner in Seattle, Washington last Friday. He said that if the President did raise the issue, “he has kept it a well guarded secret.”

“I am concerned about the President’s failure to raise the issue of the Soviet Jews and the implications of that failure in decision-making, the implication that the Congress is not included in the processes and that the human beings affected are often submerged in a grand design,” Sen. Tunney said.) Dr. Henry Kissinger, the President’s advisor on national security affairs, told newsmen in Moscow last week that the President had “mentioned” the issue of Soviet Jews during the summit talks but refused to amplify his statement.

Recommended from JTA