A Farewell to Representative Vanik

Posted on September 4, 2007 In Blog

A hero in the struggle to help Soviet Jewry, former Congressman Charles Vanik, co-author of the Jackson-Vanik amendments that bear his name has passed away at age 94, just as the 40th anniversary of the free Soviet Jewry movement begins.

Jackson-Vanik was a crucial diplomatic tool in helping persecuted Soviet Jews to emigrate to countries where they were able to live freely. The amendments, which required the United States link trade benefits to human rights abuses/issues were a new model of muscular diplomacy, putting America’s money where its mouth was and matching our leader’s rhetoric to our national policy.

Thanks to Congressman Vanick and his partner, the late Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, thousands of people who were at the mercy of the KGB and the Soviet thought police walked free, able to practice their religion and live their lives as they wished.