Israel's Prime Minister, Mrs. Meir appealed to the world yesterday (Friday, 25 December) to intervene?
Israel's Prime Minister, Mrs. Meir appealed to the world yesterday (Friday, 25 December) to intervene to save the lives of two Soviet citizens of Jewish origin who have been condemned to death in the Leningrad hi-jacking trial. Mrs. Meir was addressing a special session of Israel's Parliament, the Knesset, which called on the Soviet Union to rescind the verdicts.
President Zalman Shazar and the country's two chief rabbis attended the session which unanimously approved the Prime Minister's address, with the exception of the two Members from the pro-Moscow Rakah Communist Party who were absent.
The Knesset called on the Soviet Union to release the prisoners and to allow Soviet Jews who want to eave for Israel to do so. It appealed to world governments and religious and secular leaders to intervene to stop what it called "judicial murder"
Mrs. Meir spoke of a wave of persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union. She said news was coming out of danger facing scores of Jews in Leningrad, Moscow, Riga and other places. The fact that trials were held in camera indicated how confessions were extracted.
The Knesset session was held against a background of demonstrations throughout Israel. The ten-day trial in Leningrad ended with two people being condemned to death by firing squad and nine others being sentenced to periods in labour camps for trying to seize an aircraft and flee to Sweden.