92. Memorandum From A. Denis Clift of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • Jewish Demonstrations During Brezhnev Visit

There are growing indicators that planning is underway by various US Jewish organizations for anti-Soviet demonstrations during General Secretary Brezhnev’s visit to the United States.

[Page 305]

On March 28, the Executive Director of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, Jerry Goodman, raised the subject during a meeting with State officials (memo of conversation at Tab A).2 Goodman said that the National Conference and other cooperating organizations were interested in learning the dates of Brezhnev’s visit as they would have to plan some sort of reception. He spoke of the possibility of demonstrations involving hundreds of thousands.

On March 30, Evans and Novak reviewed the possibility of anti-Soviet demonstrations in more vivid, journalistic terms (clipping at Tab B),3 writing that the National Conference is planning major demonstrations in every city Brezhnev will visit, that the issue is out of the hands of responsible US Jewish leaders, that it involves the entire US Jewish community, and that only formal Soviet elimination of the exit fee decree will head off the demonstrations.

This memorandum is to advise you of the growing information pointing to the possibility of major, anti-Soviet demonstrations during the Brezhnev visit. In the normal course of meetings with representatives of the US Jewish community between now and the visit, I think we can expect State to continue to urge caution and generally advise against any such demonstrations. You may wish to consider arranging for additional, private meetings with respected Jewish leaders to discuss the importance of avoiding demonstrations that might work an adverse effect on the visit and on the possibilities for future liberalization of Soviet emigration policy.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 939, VIP Visits, Brezhnev’s U.S. Visit [3 of 4]. Confidential. Sent for information.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. Attached but not printed is the Rowland Evans and Robert Novak article, “Brezhnev’s Visit and the Jews,” Washington Post, March 30, 1973.