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U.S. Helsinki Review Co-chairman Says Soviet Jewry on Madrid Agenda

July 18, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Max Kampelman, the co-chairman of the Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe, has promised that Soviet Jewry will be on the American delegation’s agenda at the Madrid Conference in November where the Helsinki Accords will be reviewed. Kampelman, a Washington attorney who was recently appointed to his post by President Carter, told a regional meeting of the Committee at UCLA:

“We intend to emphasize human rights and we intend to name names. This means naming the names of countries that, in our opinion, have violated the Helsinki Accords. It also means naming the victims of Soviet oppression.” Former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell will chair the U.S. delegation to the Madrid meeting.

Signed by 35 nations, the Helsinki Accords rest on a number of principles including the inviolability of national borders, the sovereign equality of nations, free exchange of information, and the right of individuals to leave the countries of their births. Built into the Accords were a series of follow-up meetings to evaluate their implementation. The first was held in Belgrade. Yugoslavia in 1977.

The Los Angeles meeting was one of a series of regional conferences Kampelman is attending seeking input from various groups with interests in the Accords’ implementation. It was attended by representatives of the Commission on Soviet Jewry of Jewish Federation Council’s Community Relations Committee, the Women’s Campaign for Soviet Jewry-35’s, and the Concerned Lawyers Committee for Soviet Jewry.


Responding to questions from Honey Kessler Amado, chairwoman of the Commission on Soviet Jewry, and from Marshall Grossman, chairman of the Concerned Lawyers for Soviet Jewry, Kampelman stated that the delegation is aware of recent dramatic cutbacks in the number of Soviet Jews being given visas to leave the Soviet Union and of new restrictions placed on those applying for visas.

“I cannot answer to what extent this will be taken up, but that it will be taken up is very clear,” he said. He stressed throughout the meeting that at this time, American policy at the Madrid Conference is just being formulated. Regional meetings are taking place in New York, Pittsburgh Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Also attending the meeting here were some 75 representatives of Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Czechoslovakian, Hungarian, Russian and other ethnic groups as well as representatives of several Christian groups.

In addition to his post as Committee co-chairman, Kampelman is vice chairman of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith national executive committee and is chairman of the ADL’s international affairs committee.

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