September 1, 2007


Rep. Charles Vanik, 94; backed emigration for Soviet Jews (Associated Press, September 1, 2007)

Vanik and then-Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson (D-Wash.), sponsored what became known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment in 1974. The amendment to the Trade Reform Bill tied the Soviet Union's trade status to whether it freely allowed Jewish emigration. [...]

Emigration of Soviet Jews increased in the years after the bill passed, but slowed to a trickle in the 1980s and became a major source of friction between the two nations.

In 1988, five years after Jackson died, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev urged the amendment to be scrapped, saying: "Why should the dead hold on to the coattails of the living? I mean the Jackson-Vanik amendment. One of them is already physically dead. The other is politically dead."

The New York Times reported that Vanik countered: "Lenin has been dead for a long time and they still live under his guidance."

Superior tools.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 1, 2007 6:58 PM
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