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Scheuer: Soviet Discrimination Against Jews All-pervasive, but Jews Not Depressed, Demanding Their R

January 21, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Rep. James Scheuer (D.N.Y.), who was expelled last week after visiting with Jewish scientists in the home of one of them, described Soviet discrimination against Jews as “all-pervasive.” But Soviet Jews, he said, “aren’t depressed”; rather, their “raw courage” in demanding their rights is “absolutely inspiring.”

Scheuer, who returned last night from his tour of the USSR and Ireland, said at a press conference here that his expulsion was a “pointless, irrational, mindless act,” and stated that he would be “horrified” if “this absurd little incident” should become an international issue and sabotage President Nixon’s summit meetings.

He suggested that the Soviet authorities had acted as they did to reassert Soviet strength in the light of Nixon’s upcoming visit to China as well as to the USSR. The Soviet authorities waned to show they are not “permissive” but the maintainers of a “rigorous discipline” because they believe they are “threatened from without.” Scheuer said he regretted that he and his delegation were “carefully shepherded and carefully isolated” and that “we never spoke with the blood-and-guts people,” average Soviet citizens.

Following his press conference, Scheuer met with State Department officials to describe the circumstances of his expulsion. It was reported that the officials told the lawmaker that there was nothing illegal nor did he act in poor taste while in the USSR. This was an apparent reference to his visit to the home of Prof. Alexander Lerner, the computer and cybernetics expert.

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