Somehow your article concerning Israel's new procedure for handling visas for emigrating Soviet Jews included a comment attributed to me that misunderstood the position of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (Part I, April 21). It's correct that we are urging the State Department to take "immediate steps." Such steps, however, relate to demanding of the Soviets at the summit that Jews holding permission to leave continue to have multiple exit routes to the West since the new Israeli procedures will limit those with Israeli visas to the sole route to Jerusalem, with a consequent loss of refugee status in the United States.
The UCSJ is not now urging the State Department to consider permitting Jews who actually arrive in Israel to continue on to the United States as refugees. Last year we urged such consideration, among others, if the Israeli plan went into effect because, at the time, Jews had no alternative at all but to emigrate with an Israeli visa. Today, however, our emphasis has changed in light of Soviet assurances that Jews will be permitted to exit on U.S. visas as well.
MICAH H. NAFTALIN
Union of Councils for Soviet Jews