Jewish leaders from about a dozen countries held an emergency meeting in London on Monday (4 September) amid growing world reaction against Soviet government taxes on educated Soviet Jews wanting to emigrate to Israel.
GV EXT Conference building
CU Poster in window "Free Soviet Jewish Prisoners"
CU Delegates enter building
SCU PAN INT SV Delegates to hall
LV PAN Delegates seated at table
CU Delegate speaks
SCU (Pinkus SOUND continues ever) delegates from U.S.A., Helland, Italy, Belgium and Canada listening (4 shots)
GV Delegates seated listening
PINCUS: "This is in the nature of an emergency meeting arising out of an emergency situation. In other words, what we are concerned with today is the question of business as usual...a little more intense...another demonstration, etcetera, than we would have done if we were meeting one year from the time we last met. We are meeting in order to deal with the situation that has really developed since August the third or fourth of this year, when it firs became known--very unofficially but very factual--of the new decree of the Soviet Union--the precise details of which we don't know, but we know how it is working in practice--to hold for ransom these academicians where sought to leave the Soviet Union.
Initials BB/0000 JL/MR/BB/0025
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Background: Jewish leaders from about a dozen countries held an emergency meeting in London on Monday (4 September) amid growing world reaction against Soviet government taxes on educated Soviet Jews wanting to emigrate to Israel.
Jewish leaders in Britain denounced the new taxes as cruel and inhuman. In Jerusalem, Israel's Forcing Minister Abba Eban called the tax a violation of the freedom of the spirit.
During the weekend, 47 Soviet Jews from Moscow and Kharkov protested in an open letter to President Nikolai Podgerny that the new tax was unconstitutional and arbitrary.
At the London meeting, more than 60 delegates and observers were in attendance. The countries represented were the United States, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Holland, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, and Argentina, with the latter representing South American countries generally.
Chairman of the meeting and Chairman of the World Zionist Executive, Louis Pincus, opened the meeting. A transcript of his remarks follows.