« ÎnapoiContinuați »
STATEMENT OF HON. JACK F. KEMP, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CON
GRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. KEMP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your allowing me to sit in on the committee and I appreciate what the committee is doing to focus attention on this extremely important issue facing our country and the world today.
Just before you introduced me, I think Jerry Goodman had a comment about something that Mrs. Gluzman said, so I would defer to Jerry Goodman.
Mr. GOODMAN. Thank you, Mr. Congressman. I think it is important that we realize, based on Mrs. Gluzman's fear, should her husband and others like her be refused, he cannot apply for another year for the right to leave.
Mr. MURPHY. Have you some suggestion, Mr. Goodman, what action this committee might take to help this decision this coming Friday?
Mr. GOODMAN. I would think that a direct appeal from this committee as a body, if it is empowered to do so, either officially or unoffically, to Soviet authorities in the city, to the Embassy, would, of course, be helpful.
I would also think that any influence that this committee has with the administration at large, with the White House in particular, in this instance would be helpful, keeping in mind again that we have 48 hours essentially in which to work on this individual case.
But as Mrs. Gluzman said, the problem, of course, is compounded with hundreds and thousands of others like it.
Mr. KEMP. If I might elaborate on the comment that Jerry just made, Mr. Chairman, I would be very much in favor of this. I have both called and written the White House about the 11th hour urgency of Rita's particular case and I think it would be helpful if this committee officially went on record and made that type of a call.
There are things being done that all of us are not particularly free to talk about but we think and hope that there is going to be some positive application on some steps that have been taken, I think pressure especially exerted at this time on the administration would be, in fact, helpful.
A DIRECT APPEAL
I would once again like to welcome you, Richard, Jerry, and especially Mrs. Gluzman. I first met Mrs. Giuzman in Tel Aviv and we had the opportunity to talk about her particular case and it has interested me as a symbol of the problem that so many in Soviet Russia are having, and I particularly want to commend the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry for their tremendous concern and interest.
Mr. Maass, what is your understanding of the movement with regard to non-Jews? How can we bring more attention from the non-Jewish community to bear upon this problem and how important is it?
And second, what can be done in terms of grassroots support across the country and among many Jews?
Mr. Maass. I think, Congressman Kemp, Mrs. Gluzman said it very well earlier before you came in that this is really not a Jewish issue. It is a human rights issue that affects all people and that so long as it remains a Jewish issue and only Jewish organizations or Jews, themselves, are concerned with it, I think you postpone the ability to obtain any result at all.
It is a world issue and it is a human rights issue that concerns all people and I think the activities that have been undertaken in the last year and a half or 2 years by most of the Christian Churches is terribly important.
This activity has had a great result. At the time of the Leningrad trials last December, as you probably know, there was a large outpouring of sincere, honest complaint and distress from Catholic and Protestant churches throughout the world and I think this must continue.
The complaints that came, for example from the Communist Parties in Italy and France were very important at the time of the Leningrad trials. So, we have to use every channel that is available in this effort, and to the extent we are successful in helping the Jews of the Soviet Union, we are also at the same time helping other minority groups within that large fashion because so long as you are affecting one, you have the ripple effect that affects all other minority groups who face, in some degree, different forms of discrimination.
Mrs. GLUZMAN. I want thank you personnally for helping me because you are for us exactly what we want, what we dream about, that nonJew is concerned very strong and that you understand really our plight, and I promise you that I will bring your name because you bring me hope really that it is possible because you become seriously concerned with us and I promise you that we will send you some flowers if we succeed.
Mr. ROSENTHAL. I think Mr. Buchanan wants to say something on behalf of Mr. Murphy and myself.
Mr. BUCHANAN. The chairman and Mr. Murphy and I will today contact the appropriate officials at the State Department, to not only express our concern but to explore all avenues possible which we might take to be a help in this situation.
Mr. Maass. That is wonderful. Mr. KEMP. I would like to insert my remarks in the record. Much of what I was prepared to say, I am sure has been said much more eloquently and poignantly by those who have testified, and I think the presence of Rita brings, certainly, a manifestation of the urgency of the problem. I will at this late hour just ask that my remarks be inserted.
Mr. ROSENTHAL. Without objection, it is so ordered.
STATEMENT OF HON. JACK KEMP, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE
OF NEW YORK
Mr. Chairman, from the earliest days of man's presence on this earth, he has been free to travel from one part of a continent to another and across the seas another continent.
The great and small nations came into being by the migration of tribes, by the movement of the oppressed and dissatisfied who sought to express their particular beliefs and skills or to escape the tyranny of masters.
America, the Nation of greatest opportunity and greatest riches, was founded by emigrants. The countries of Southeast Asia abound with citizens of Chinese ancestry. And in this contemporary time, Jews from the corners of the globe are transforming the arid desert into the lush and productive nation of Israel, a country where their ancestors had their beginning.
From Europe, the Russians have moved to Siberia where industrial centers now dot a former wasteland. Europeans have carved new nations across the face of South America. Since World War II, a whole new family of nations have sprung up in Africa.
Thus, in recent and modern times, the right to leave one's country and to seek a new life somewhere else has not only continued but has accelerated. And because distances have shrunk with advances in transportation, greater numbers of people not only leave but are able to return to countries of origin with greater ease and speed than ever before.
RIGHT TO TRAVEL AND RETURN
Historically and by law, then, the right to leave one's country and return is probably one of the more basic human rights aside from the right of life itself.
Viewed in this context, the refusal of the Soviet Union to allow its citizens, particularly the Jews, to emigrate, is contrary to the flow of history and the very tenets of the Soviet Constitution which legally, recognizes the right of all nationalities within the USSR borders to cultural freedom and the concept of national determination. This inconsistency between general policy and their position with regard to Soviet Jews is certainly a cause for embarrassment to the Soviet Union.
We have a situation, then, in which the Soviet Union has obligated itself in a variety of ways to international standards which require it to give effect to the right to leave and return; and, it has accorded recognition to the humanitarian principle of reunion of families and even ethnic groups. Hence, it appears that those who seek to emigrate to Israel and elsewhere are merely seeking implementation of this legal and moral right.
It has always struck one as the height of hypocrisy for the Soviet Union to profess, before the world, adherence to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and then systematically to harass and persecute Jewish minorities within the Soviet Union and to officially announce on October 6th that emigration is a privilege, a decision to be made by the state, not a right of the individual. This pronouncement re-emphasized how far the Soviet Union has progressed in terms of spiritual and human progress.
AN INCREASED EMIGRATION
As of last week, the flow of Jews from Russia to Israel, which was almost non-existent, has now become steady. I feel that the moral outcry raised by those of us around the world who cherish freedom has been probably the greatest contributing factor to this new flow of Jewish emigrants from Russia.
However, we must not forget that many of these new arrivals have paid for their Soviet exit permit dearly, with several years of persistent effort, short jail terms and forfeiture of much of their worldly goods.
Many of the emigrants in absorption centers in Israel live alongside American families who have brought with them, tax free, virtually all the material comforts of home.
The difference in the respective situations of the new emigrants is striking.
Furthermore, the Russian Jews—unlike their American counterparts--know that they have made a final break and cannot return if they do not like Israel.
Not unlike other victims of the repressive Soviet policy is Mrs. Rita Gluzman, who testified before us today.
A former citizen of the Soviet Ukraine, she emigrated to Israel in February, 1970.
Before that time, and since, she made repeated but unsuccessful efforts to win Russian permission for her husband, Yakov Gluzman, to emigrate from Russia to join her, and their infant son he has never seen, in Israel.
Mrs. Gluzman first brought her tragic problem to my attention during a trip I made to Israel late this past summer.
Since September, 1969, more than two years ago, she and her husband have sought, to no avail, an exit visa for Mr. Gluzman.
At the beginning of those efforts Soviet authorities hinted to her that, if she left Russia with her parents and sister, it would be easier for her husband to receive an emigration permit.
At the time she left the Soviet Union with her family, she was with child. On October 10 1970, she gave birth in Tel Aviv to a son, Ilan.
Again, her application for Yakov to leave Russia was refused by Soviet authorities on Aug. 6, 1971. On that occasion, Russian authorities explained the visa was refused because she had concealed her August, 1969, marriage.
EXIT PERMIT DENIED Yet, her marriage is noted on her passport, is officially registered in Russia and her husband gave officials his written consent for her emigration to Israel.
More recent attempts to obtain an exit visa for Mr. Gluzman have also been turned down.
In effect, the Soviets are denying the very basic right of a husband, his wife and their child to live together.
How important is Mr. Gluzman to the Soviet Union? Although he is a university trained biologist, he is now working as a carpenter.
We can only guess how many human beings are tragic victims of such Soviet policy.
We do know that these victims are worthy of whatever help we and others in the world can provide them; that, in the name of humanity, we must assist them.
Because the Soviet Union has not adhered to this basic and internationally recognized human right to leave one's country and return, it is my belief that this nation's regretful actions should be brought to the attention of not only the people of the U.S. but to the whole world at the U.N.
Hence, I have submitted a concurrent resolution which was drawn up with the concurrence of our Ambassador to the United Nations, George Bush. It presently has 50 co-sponsors. If passed, it will be indicative of the attitude of the American people in clear terms toward this important moral issue and will express the unequivocal desire of the Congress to have this issue brought before the U.N. General Assembly by Mr. Bush.
At this point, Mr. Chairman, I respectfully request that a scholarly report, entitled “The Treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union,” prepared by Barbara Mihalchenko of the Library of Congress, be submitted as part of the Committee Record.
Mr. KEMP. I would like to make a comment that has germaneness to our meeting this morning.
NEVER BEFORE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
One of the reasons that I have been particularly interested, after meeting with Jerry and Richie, is that the United Nations is the key world body that is obstensibly, and hopefully even more so today, devoted to issues that have to do with basic human rights. Also, never before in the history of the U.N. General Assembly has this issue been brought to the attention of the General Assembly as a whole.
One of the things I appreciate in Mr. Maass comments, and one of the things I became particularly interested in, was bringing it to the attention of the world, not in subcommissions or subcommittees, but on the floor of the General Assembly where it can get attention, not only in this country but around the world, for Jew and non-Jew alike.
To that end we have submitted to the House, Concurrent Resolution 425 which was alluded to by Mr. Maass in his testimony and for which I thank him. I will be honest and say that I have become particularly interested in the issue because of cases like Mrs. Gluzman's. Also, because the Soviet Union has denied this basic human right to all its citizens and gives only lipservice to this human right which is a constitutionally protected right in Soviet Russia. It seems to me that world opinion can bring some attention to bear on the problem and help not only Mrs. Gluzman's husband, but others who have suffered this denial.
(The resolution follows:)
[H. Con. Res. 425, 92d Cong., First Sess.]
Whereas the Congress is concerned about the fact that some nations have not adhered to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights which specifically recites that all people have a right to expatriate themselves—to pass freely from state to state, to remove themselves from a jurisdiction which they find destructive or offensive to their rights; and
Whereas the vengeful trial of Jews attempting to leave Leningrad, the plight of hundreds like Rita Gluzman whose husband has not been allowed to emigrate from Ukraine to join her and their baby son in Israel, the killing of approximately 65 people trying to flee East Berlin, the brutal beating, recapture, and subsequent prosecution of the Lithuanian seaman on an American Cosat Guard vessel, the expressed fear of Solzhenitsen that if he accepted the Nobel Prize in Stockholm, he could be barred forever from his Russian homeland are all evidence of the fact that some nations have not honored the aforementioned basic and internationally recognized human right, the right of everyone to leave any country and return to his own country; and
Whereas the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ratified by forty-six nations is now in force, and included among the rights is the "right of everyone to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his own country"; and
Whereas this extremely important moral issue has never been brought before the United Nations General Assembly: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that the President, acting through the United Nations, should present to the United Nations General Assembly in fitting manner the issue of the right to emigrate from and also return to one's country.
Mr. KEMP. I would add that I had a breakfast meeting with Mr. Dobrynin, and at that time I questioned him about the constitutional protection of the right to leave Soviet Russia.
EMIGRATION NOT A RIGHT
It came out very clearly that he thinks it is not a right that is protected constitutionally or by law. He thinks it is a privilege. It certainly points up, Mr. Chairman, the difference between a controlled society where the rights of men come to them by virtue, or the lack of it, of government, and whether it is munificent, or not; and our society, within which our rights have come to us by virtue of our Creator and are protected by the Constitution.
That is one point I wanted to make. The second point is that the resolution that we have submitted, House Concurrent Resolution 425, has more than 50 cosponsors and is gaining every day. I would hope that we can bring more attention to this resolution which, if passed overwhelmingly by the House, will send the message loud and clear to the United Nations. I might add that Ambassador Bush has promised both myself and the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry that this will be brought to the attention of the General Assembly for the first time.
I think that makes it even more compelling, Mr. Chairman, to get busy on this resolution and have it pass so we can in this session of the United Nations bring it to the attention of the world. As I mentioned, I would like my testimony inserted in the record, as well as, Mr. Chairman, an outstanding piece of research that was done by the Library of Congress foreign affairs analyst on the treatment of Jews