The Jewish News of Northern California (April 10, 1987)

TEL AVIV (JPFS) - Warsaw is vying to become the Eastern bloc transit stop for Soviet Jews en route to Israel, if the Kremlin should agree to such an arrangement, United States sources say.

Bucharest has been mentioned in recent weeks as the most likely transit stop, presumably because of the existing diplomatic relations between Romania and Israel.

But well-informed U.S. sources said that Warsaw also has been named in discussions by American, Israeli and Soviet officials and American Jewish leaders.

One source said the Kremlin would probably prefer Warsaw to Bucharest because Moscow would rather reward Polish leader Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski than Romanian President Nicholae Ceacescu.

Last year Poland signaled what is viewed here as long-range Eastern bloc intentions by resuming relations with Israel, and Poland and Israel currently have interest sections in each other's capitals.

Polish interest in becoming a factor in any growing Jewish emigration from the USSR is linked to Warsaw's need for improved economic relations with the West, said the sources.