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Soviet Jewry Groups Gearing Up for Bush-gorbachev Summit in Malta

November 10, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Soviet Jewry advocacy groups are taking steps to ensure that the issue of Soviet Jewry will be addressed when President Bush meets with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev aboard U.S. and Soviet ships off Malta on Dec. 2-3.

Shoshana Cardin, chairwoman of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, and Martin Wenick, NCSJ’s executive director, plan to be in Malta during what Bush has billed as an informal meeting with Gorbachev, his first since becoming president.

The two presidents plan to meet on a U.S. ship the first day and a Soviet ship the following day.

The NCSJ leaders plan to brief the press attending the summit on the continuing concerns over Jewish emigration, religious and cultural rights and increasing anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union.

“We recognize the positive efforts undertaken by Soviet President Gorbachev concerning a substantial rise in Jewish emigration, and in official recognition of many Jewish religious and cultural organizations,” Cardin said in a statement issued Thursday.

“Yet we believe that a number of our concerns in these areas have yet to be addressed and resolved by the Soviet leader.

“We are also deeply troubled by the apparent increase in anti-Semitism in the USSR, which has created a sense of tension and apprehension among Soviet Jews, and we look to President Gorbachev to condemn anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist behavior in the Soviet Union,” said Cardin.

The statement followed a meeting Monday in New York in which representatives of Jewish organizations discussed their plans for the summit.

Cardin said she has requested meetings before the summit with Bush, Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Ambassador Yuri Dubinin. She has already met with Richard Schifter, assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs.

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