Thousands of Israelis, including Prime Minister Golda Meir and members of her Cabinet, gathered yesterday (Sunday) at the ancient Wailing Wall in Jerusalem to express their solidarity with Jews they claim are being persecuted in the Soviet Union.
MV Demonstrators at Wailing Wall holding banners
CU Banner "Unlock the Gates"
MV More placards with pictures of Soviet Jews
MV Mrs Meir walking with demonstrators
CU Placard "Disgrace to Moscow anti-semites
MV Abba Eban walking among demonstrators
CU Demonstrators signing petition
CU Placard "Kosygin stop the persecution"
CU Hebrew placard
CU Banner "Let my people go" Pan down to nurses
Initials GL/BH/OS/2217 LD/BH/OS/2225
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Background: Thousands of Israelis, including Prime Minister Golda Meir and members of her Cabinet, gathered yesterday (Sunday) at the ancient Wailing Wall in Jerusalem to express their solidarity with Jews they claim are being persecuted in the Soviet Union.
They joined a group of settlers from the Soviet Union who were in their fifth day of a hunger strike in protest at the trial in Leningrad of eleven people, ten of them Jews, accused of attempting to hijack an aircraft in order to escape to Israel.
The hunger strikers, claiming to be members of an association of former Zionist prisoners in the Soviet Union, rejected an appeal by Israel's Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Issar Yehuda Unterman, to call off their fast. Today (Monday) was named as a day of prayers for the safety of all Soviet Jews.
Mrs. Meir told the hunger-strikers she was sure the day would come when the Jews of the Soviet Union would be permitted to come to Israel. The Jewish people had been persecuted through the ages, but they had proved no power on earth was able to overcome them, she said.
In Leningrad, where the eleven defendants stand accused under an article of the criminal code dealing with treason, the persecutor was expected to make his final speech today (Monday).