Statement of Senator John B. Anderson on the Passage of the Soviet Jewish Relief Act of 1972
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY, APRIL 17, 1972
CONGRESSMAN JOHN B. ANDERSON 1101 LONGWORTH HOUSE OFFICE BLDG. WASHINGTON, D.C. 20505 PHONE:(202) 225-5676
ANDERSON HAILS PASSAGE OF SOVIET JEW RESOLUTION, URGES PRESIDENT NIXON TO RAISE ISSUE IN MOSCOW WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman John B. Anderson (R-Ill.) today hailed House passage of his resolution calling for the relief of Soviet Jews as "a solid showing of Congressional concern for the plight of Soviet religious minorities" and as "a vehicle of support for the President in raising the twin issues of religious persecution and free emigration in his forthcoming discussions with Soviet leaders.' The resolution, M. Con. Res. 471, urges the President to call upon the Soviet Government to permit the free exercise of religion in the Soviet Union and the right to emigrate, and to raise the issue of Soviet trans-gression of the Declaration of Human Rights, particularly with respect to Soviet Jews and other minorities, in the U.N. General Assembly. Following passage of the resolution, Anderson and Rep. Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. (D-Mass,), co-authors of the measure, held a press conference with Rep. Benjamin S. Rosenthal (D-N.Y,), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Sub-committee on Europe, and Miss Katia Palatnik, a recent Soviet Jewish emigre to Israel. Miss Palatnik's sister, Raiza Palatnik, remains imprisoned in the Ukraine for anti-Soviet activities which include the possession of Hebrew poems and literature about Israel.
In Anderson's words, 'The story of Raiza Palatnik is but one example of the type of Soviet government persecution being practiced against its citizens of the Jewish faith. Official restrictions against Jewish religious and cultural life in the Soviet Union have been amply catalogued in recent years. These include inadequate religious facilities, pressures against synagogue attendance, the prohibition against publication, of religious materials, including Bibles, and the refusal to allow for rabbinical training." Anderson went on, "It is little wonder that thousands of Soviet Jews have requested permission to emigrate in order to maintain their religious and cultural identities. And yet the Soviet record to date on emigration has been abysmal and token, in clear contravention of Article XIII of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." Anderson revealed that he had received a copy of a letter to President Nixon from 40 Soviet Jewish families protesting Soviet rejection of their applications to emigrate and urging the
President to raise this matter in his May visit to the Soviet Union. -30-