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McClory, Hon. Robert, a Representative in Congress from the State of
Alpert, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard, and Braverman, Mr. and Mrs. Bert, joint
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, text of letter to Mr. Richard
Maass, American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry from Owen S.
Rachleff, Director of the European Affairs Department.
\Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on.--
Optional protocol to...
Racial Discrimination, text of International Convention on the Elimina
tion of all forms of
Congressman John B. Anderson.--
Richard Maass, Chairman, American Jewish Conference on Soviet
prepared by Barbara Mihalchenko, Foreign Affairs Analyst, Foreign
Affairs Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.
Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry Newsletter, November 1, 1971.-.-.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1971
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m. in room 2171, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Benjamin S. Rosenthal (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. ROSENTHAL. The subcommittee will be in order.
The Subcommittee on Europe today begins hearings on a subject which is physically remote but humanely very close to our country and to its Congress.
The continued privation of Soviet Jews is a bitter and even an unforgivable remainder of the past for those whose generation includes the memories of the Second World War.
One cannot, nor should not, divorce that collective emotional memory from the legisiative consideration which we start now of resolutions expressing today's concern for Soviet Jews.
AN ISSUE OF HUMAN RIGHITS
Is an American citizen and as a Member of Congress, I am appalled by the accounts of the privation and hardships suffered by Soviet Jews. Yet, we must view those deprivations not simply as citizens of one country viewing the abhorrent behavior of another government. We must view these acts as the denial of human rights-a situation which must be condemned wherever and whenever it occurs.
Similarly, it is no defense of these actions by the Soviet Government to say that the United States, or Britain or South Vietnam fails to protect its citizens against arbitrary and inhumane treatment or is even a party itself to such treatment. We shall never contribute to the progress of the human condition simply by citing further instances of its deprivation.
These are not merely educational or informational hearings. This subcommittee intends to report promptly to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and to the House of Representatives a resolution on this subject. The four sessions of hearings today and tomorrow form the initial stage of this legislative work. We intend to produce a resolution before the end of this session of Congress.
Our witnesses represent a broad range of concerned opinion. Not all of them agree on what appropriate and effective measures can be taken by either our Government or our citizens privately to express this concern and to affect changes within the Soviet Union.
1 A compilation of legislative proposals pending before the subcommittee appears on
We shall hear these witnesses in the spirit of sympathy and concern which motivated the Congressmen-now numbering over 200—who have sponsored the legislation we consider today and tomorrow.
We are very pleased and honored that our first witness is Mr. F. Lee Bailey, representing the League for Repatriation of Russian Jews.
Mr. Bailey, we know you have been granted special permission by the U.S. district court in Detroit to take the time out to come here and speak to us about your views. We are grateful to the court and we are particularly appreciative of you by virtue of the fact of your long and concerned interest in this very important subject. We are very pleased to hear from you.
STATEMENT OF F. LEE BAILEY, REPRESENTING THE LEAGUE FOR
REPATRIATION OF RUSSIAN JEWS
Lawyer; b. 1933; student Harvard ; LL.B., Boston U. Admitted to bar, 1960; practices in Boston. Member, American Bar Assn.
Mr. Bailey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and good morning, committee members.
I think, perhaps, I should explain a little of the background of my involvement in this problem.
About 1 year ago a Mr. Harris Brathman, chairman of the International Congress for the Repatriation of Russian Jews, had a meeting with me wherein he requested I go, if possible, to the Soviet Union to observe the Leningrad skyjacking trials where certain Russian Jews were being, in his view, persecuted wrongfully for crimes they did not commit. It was his feeling that the Soviet Government was going to use this incident to discourage efforts on the part of Russian Jews seeking to repatriate to Israel, to shut down the movement, so to speak.
Permission was denied by the Russian Government, and that attendance was not had. However, during the past year many meetings were held, some with the State Department, some with those knowledgeable and experienced in dealing with the Russian Government.
VISIT TO TEL AVIV
Recently I went to Tel Aviv in the company of Mr. William Malman in order to talk firsthand with those who had recently repatriated, who were leaders of the movement when they were still in Russia, to learn from them what was needed, what the prognosis was, what the spirit was, and what the future of this entire movement might be expected to be.
On the 9th of October in Haifa, Israel, I met with one of the most recognized leaders of the movement to repatriation, a Mr. Villa Lujinsky. On the following day I met in Tel Aviv with the leader of a companion group whose actions and intentions are entirely consistent with the first committee, a woman lawyer named Leah Slavenka. I received from both sides a rather consistent picture of what is happening inside Russia, what is motivating these people to persist and what is causing them to run the risk of retaliation if they put in a written application.