« ÎnapoiContinuă »
The Soviet Government apparently has displayed in the past and continues to display an ambivalent attitude toward the problem. Although they have frequently jailed the leaders of the movement, those who are constantly agitating to encourage the Government to permit more and more of those wanting to repatriate; on the other hand, they do not seem to be taking any more violent measures, as might have been expected, as in the past, as a result of which these people have not been inhibited. And from time to time the Soviet Government will permit in large numbers those leaders to repatriate, we think in an effort to deprive the movement of its leadership inside the Soviet Union, and perhaps cause it to disappear like a rudderless ship, or to at least dissipate.
It has been the experience of this group that as leaders are allowed to leave, that they take up their post in Israel and new leaders emerge. The communications are rather good, somewhat better than I would have expected. There is almost daily conversation between those still inside the Soviet Union and those who are attempting to assist from Israel and from the United States, as to what is going on and what the new attitude, because it changes frequently, of the Soviet Government seems to be.
MEETING IN NEW YORK
About 2 weeks ago numerous groups inside the United States that have been operating independently in order to lend aid and encouragement to this problem, met in New York for the purpose of unification. That is now the Research Institute for Soviet Jewry. Their purpose is twofold: one, to raise necessary funds to permit these people to continue to operate effectively, and the other is to show continuing encouragement and belief in the correctness of the position of those who wish to repatriate and, put quite simply, to keep morale high despite the contrary pressures that seem to exist in varying degrees and from time to time inside the Soviet Union.
My reason for agreeing to be involved was in part the fact that to me it is highly significant that a completely competing form of government and culture has not succeeded in persuading large numbers of its intelligent population that it is on the right track. The people who are agitating the hardest to leave the Soviet Union are those who were born and weaned within it. They have apparently rejected rather categorically the form of government in which they find themselves. They are not critical of the Russian form of government, they don't want to change it; they simply say that they want to go home.
Of course I think that the pride of the Jewish faith or race in its own country is well known, but it is a sufficiently sustaining force to encourage very large numbers, and the number of the 3 million that we estimate are now living in the Soviet Union who would leave tomorrow if the gates were opened is speculative. We are satisfied that it would be several hundred thousand within a short time.
Of particular interest is the group, I should say, between 20 and 40 or 45. They are well educated, most of them have good technical educations and can contribute heavily to the industrial problems of their native land if they can get there. They do face at the present time the threat of retaliation in many forms, isolation, constant criticism, pressure from the KGB, if they put in the written application that is a prerequisite for repatriation.
EMIGRATION QUOTA RAISED
On the other hand, those applications continue to go in. They are less in number in all probability by several hundred percent than those that would go in if there were no price annexed. But I must say that I think these efforts are bearing fruit. The Russian Government is not known for making specious concessions and yet I was heartened to see last week while in Montreal a headline in that city's leading newspaper announcing that the quota had been stepped up, that the numbers who were permitted to repatriate had been increased.
Althouglı we can't claim that it is directly tied to any developments, certainly the pressures that are inherent in this very peaceful effort to accomplish something that a foreign government should do by any measure of right is a new way to try and solve intercontinental problems. It is encouraging because it is the fodder from which movements involving bloodshed have cropped up in the past. We think the efficacy of this method is finally showing its toll.
We think there is a good likelihood of a continuing change in the attitude of the Russian Government. Perhaps there is some discomfort about the notion of having that many people of a unified thought inside one's own country, but perhaps there is also some understanding at this point that the problem is not going to go away either by ignoring it or repressing it. For that reason I have participated with the various groups involved in trying to unite the effort behind Soviet Jewry with a view toward hopefully one day participating, if these can be had, in negotiations for some peaceful and orderly repatriation on a more realistic scale than that which has been possible in the past.
The medium presently being explored, and the one which I think has the greatest likelihood of success after conferring at length with people I believe are not only well respected by the Russian Government but also have some understanding of its mental machinations, are neutrals in Europe who are at least given some measure of trust by both governments and probably could carry a proposition to the necessary forces in the Soviet Government with a fair degree of credibility. I do not think that the day of head-to-head negotiations to try to solve this problem is near at hand, but I don't think it is too far over the horizon, either.
TO STRENGTHEN MORALE
I think that continued expressions of the determination of everyone concerned about this problem to see that it not die will not only keep the morale of those inside the Soviet Union who have the problem firsthand at a high level, but also render encouragement which is necessary to those working on the outside with very limited funds in order to keep the communications alive, and this is one of the most effective tools to accomplish this purpose, and to show a broad determination on the part of the people that certainly has been recognized as one of the most free peoples in the world for a long time to keep a shoulder behind the entire effort.
This is my view, and not tomorrow and certainly not next week, but in my view is eventually going to either solve or put a huge dent in what is now an urgent and highly visible problem, not only of geo
politics but of the notion in the United Nations Declaration of Rights, that a man ought to have the right to live in a place he calls home.
In this case, there is no question but what those born and raised in Russia do not believe that that is their home and I think that their efforts to go home are going to be not only profound but an example of the fact that you just can't take a human being and ram a system of government down his throat which does not stand up under analysis. in his judgment and expect him to like it.
The failure of this phenomenon is to me a good and significant development to hold up to the various peoples around the world of the differences between our system of government and the fact that we don't at least to our knowledge have that many people in the United States trying to go elsewhere because of the dissatisfaction with the freedoms they are accorded.
Mr. ROSENTIAL. Mr. Bailey, what do you think specifically our Government and the Congress should do?
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 390 USEFUL
Mr. BAILEY. I think that the resolution, the one that I have read, 390, proposed by Congress, is an effective step and that the support of the Congress, joined with the support of the private groups, is moving the situation toward the point where success will become imminent. Any problem which is sufficiently nettlesome and won't go away and yet not of critical internal significance to a nation, is sometimes better solved by simply getting rid of it. We are very hopeful that if the Soviet Government, which we don't believe really has that great an interest in keeping these people there, there are many reasons not to keep them there, there is the problem of appearing to buckle under the force of a demand, which is certainly not the habit of that Government, but if it is perfectly apparent that there is widespread sympathy and that there will be a continuing widespread support we think that pure political reasoning may suggest that repatriation is a good idea, that resistance should be lowered rapidly, perhaps quietly but rapidly enough so that the Soviet Jews inside Russia will understand as long as their demonstrations are within certain perimeters they will be allowed on a continuing and expanding basis to go out and the other half of the barrier is, and we have seen that in the past, if the Soviet Jews go too far in the judgment of the Government to express their views in demonstrations that quotas have been trimmed down. Perhaps an actual balance will be stricken and the problem, which, although it can't be solved overnight, will dissipate.
Mr. ROSENTHAL. There are reportedly between 2 and 3 million Soviet Jews and some 7,000 have been permitted to leave this yearare we talking about thousands or tens of thousands who want to emigrate? Where do you see a resolution of this problem over a period of the next 5 years?
Mr. Bailey. It certainly is at least a 5-year problem. If the barriers were all dropped tomorrow and all 3 million, which is unlikely, assuming all 3 million were to be repatriated immediately, that would double the population of Israel. This has occurred in the past, and a tent city was erected, and the Israel Government solved the problem in time.
EMIGRATION WILL INCREASE
I see escalation of the numbers going out. Seven thousand a year is not realistic. Most of them wanting to leave will die in Russia on that schedule. However, I don't see 10,000 a month by the first of January. I believe continuing pressure will keep the numbers rising and I think as long as they are rising on a realistic basis-not everybody that wants to get out can get out, but if large numbers can, without bloodshed or increased suffering, I think that those remaining may feel that their sacrifice is worthwhile.
Mr. ROSENTHAL. Mr. Findley.
Mr. FINDLEY. Mr. Bailey, rather pious expressions by the Congress are important to us and hopefully are read elsewhere, including the Soviet Union, but they don't have much real force upon the Government of the Soviet Union. Is there anything that our Government, that is, the executive branch, could consider doing to bring pressure upon the Soviets?
Mr. BAILEY. Perhaps I am playing a little bit outside my field of expertise, perhaps naive. I would solve this problem by bringing a suit in the world court establishing their right to emigrate, and presumably that would end it. I certainly believe that the interest of the executive branch in accomplishing a solution to the problem is going to be of real hope. I don't think that it will stop with mere pious expressions coming through the President. We originally felt that perhaps the Government of the United States would want to stay far away from this problem because it is ticklish, and they have their hands full of problems in negotiating and dealing with the Soviets. The fact that that is not so to me means that we might see the same kind of results that we saw when the Leningrad defendants were ordered to death. It became very clear that the outrage of the entire world, not only this country but elsewhere, very quickly produced a mitigation of those sentences. Even the Soviet Government, as intractable as it sometimes seems, can be made to respond to pressure.
NOT MAJOR T.S.-SOVIET ISSUE
I might say we have enough deals on the fire at all times with Russia so perhaps this is not one of the biggest problems and could be solved as an indication of good faith. I think the Soviet Government may want to show some good faith. I think that it may feel that it is unpopular in the world perspective to continue to effectively imprison these people. If given a decent way out of it where they will not say, “We were beaten down by the opinion of the executive branch of the United States and a bunch of private groups, and we had to eat some crow." I think that they may continue to, let us say, lower their resistance.
Mr. FINDLEY. You mentioned the world court. The International Court of Justice has nothing to do at the present time so far as I know. We have taken very few initiatives on our own as a member of the United Nations to bring matters before the court. Can you tell us if our Government to your knowledge has attempted to get an advisory opinion from the world court or to place the matter there for adjudication?
Mr. Bailey. So far as I know, no such action has ever been instituted. My limited contact with international law concluded with a course on that subject in law school which convinced me there is no such phenomenon. There is a board of arbitration to which people may submit and if they agree with its judgment they may abide by it. But we have no world court in the sense that we have a real supreme court in this country. Whether or not there would be a jurisdictional premise for such a suit, I think is dubious because I think that the Soviet Government would simply say we are not going to be there and any action you take is meaningless. I do not say it is not worth exploring and perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I in the Hague shoulā be asked to look into it.
Mr. FINDLEY. As I understand the court system, the General Assembly or Security Council can initiate requests to the world court for advisory opinions.
Mr. BAILEY. Yes.
Mr. FINDLEY. One possibility that this subcommittee could consider would be passing a resolution expressing our wish that one or both of these bodies request such an advisory opinion.
Do you feel that this is a course worth pursuing ?
TRY EVERY APPROACH
Mr. BAILEY. Yes, I do. I think that every prestigious group, committee, people, or organization that will go on record in any form and say with the degree of unanimity that we saw when those very harsh sentences were passed down, this is not right, it is not the way human beings should be treated, does nothing but enhance the chances of a solution. I do not, by expressing doubts about the probable jurisdiction, which is really outside my field, of the International Court, suggest in any way that it would not be worth a try. I perhaps migrate toward hopeless cases but I find leaving any stone unturned is usually a mistake. You are never sure what it is going to do. Everything is worth exploring.
Just the fact that the effort is being made is a bigger reason to expect a solution than an expectation that any individual act will accomplish the total result.
Mr. FINDLEY. I have one more question, Mr. Chairman.
If, as you indicate, there are 2 to 3 million Jews in the Soviet Union, most of whom if not all of whom are deeply religious and unified in their religious attitudes and desiring to leave the country and the source of a considerable amount of agitation, can you speculate as to why the Soviet Union would want to retain within its borders a group like that, given the antireligious character of the Soviet Union?
Primarily, perhaps the concern of the Soviet Union is opposition to seeing the size and therefore potential influence of Israel expanded in the Middle East ?
EDUCATIONAL REIMBURSEMENT Mr. BAULEY. I think that has a great deal to do with the problem. I think in addition to that that the failure of the Soviet system to impress people that were never exposed to anything else is certainly a matter of international embarrassment. I can tell you that the Soviet