Demonstrators have begun a hunger-strike at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem in support of Jews who wish to emigrate from the Soviet Union.
GV PAN FROM Wailing Wall to demonstrators sitting at table beneath banner with man signing paper
CU Another man signs and literature handed to him
CU Notice on table: "Please sign petition" TRACK OUT TO man signing
SCU Man talking to group
SV Group of demonstrators at table beneath banner
CU Collectin tin with money in it inscribed "Help Prisoners of Zion"
CU ZOOM OUT FROM Lapel badge "Stop persecution of Soviet Jews" TO men seated
SV Demonstrator speaking to camera
LV Demonstrators with Wailing Wall in background
"We are a group of Russian newcomers, recent, and not quite recent. We are on hunger strike here.... here at the Wailing Wall in the old city of Jerusalem to stop, to express our solidarity and to attract public opinion all over the world to the hunger strike of the few intellectuals in Moscow who started their hunger strike intellectuals in Moscow who started their hunger strike without any definite term to hold up to the public opinion that there is no detente and there is no relaxing in the policy of the Soviet Union towards Jews and in regard Israel."
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Background: Demonstrators have begun a hunger-strike at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem in support of Jews who wish to emigrate from the Soviet Union.
The hunger-strikers say they're also supporting similar action by a few Soviet intellectuals over the troubles in the Soviet Literary world. The demonstrators, many of them recent arrivals in Israel from the Soviet Union, claim their action will help focus world attention on such events as the deportation of author Alexander Solzhenitsyan and ten expulsion from the writers guild of others who supported him.
However, the main force behind the hunger-strike is the call for free emigration of Jews the Soviet Union. At present the Moscow government is demanding payment from some emigre Jews to offset the training they have received in the Soviet Union at state expense. The demonstrators say that this is stopping many Jews from leaving the country ... despite the fact that the Soviet Union allowed a record number of Jews to emigrate last year. In 1973, 34,750 Jews left the Soviet Union, 3,000 more than the previous year. It's not known how many applied for exit permits.
The Soviet Union is, however, steadfastly refusing to allow some families to emigrate. Among them the wife of Leningrad ballet dancer Yuri Panov and several scientists who are known to have down no secret work for years.