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"We must never allow Soviet Jews to become faceless and nameless statistics," Alan M. Dershowitz, professor of Law, told a crowd of 200 yesterday at a Boston Common rally protesting the plight of Soviet Jews.
The International Committee for the Yelistrotovs (ICY) and Action for Soviet Jewry held the rally on behalf of Batsheva and Victor Yelistrotov, who have been trying to emigrate from the Soviet Union for eight years.
Emphasizing that the Soviet government has beaten and imprisoned Victor Yelistrotov, Dershowitz called the harassment of the couple symbolic of the oppression of Soviet Jews.
"They are stateless people within a state," he said, adding, "We will never sit silently by while our brothers are kept in cages."
Echoing Dershowitz's call to action, Rep. Robert F. Drinan (D-Mass.), asked the "spiritual aristocracy of the city" to put pressure on the Soviet government.
"We must never, never falter in our efforts," Drinan said, noting that the plight of Soviet Jews has worsened recently. He added a breaktrough could come at any time.
Aviel Roshwald, a first year history graduate student, said it is important to make political leaders aware of the situation of Soviet Jews. "It is not merely a Jewish issue," he said, adding there are wider ramifications for all Soviet citizens.
During the rally, volunteers urged people to write to the Yelistrotovs of their support.
"If nothing else," Vicki Yudenfriend, chairman of the ICY said, "at least the Yelistrovos will know we care."
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