Israel in the News Dec/Jan 1991/1992

Most Soviets want Jews out
from The Jerusalem Post
More than half the Soviet people want all Jews to leave the country, according to a poll released … at the international conference on antisemitism held in the Soviet Union.

“It is not the totalitarian antisemitism which we’re used to. Now it is open antisemitism,” said Dr. Michael Chlenov.

A neo-nazi movement “which wants to drive out all the Jews” is emerging in the Soviet Union. Unlike other European states, there are no laws banning such organizations, he said.

“We are seeing reminders of what happened in fascist Germany,” said Yuri Sokol, speaking on behalf of Soviet Jewish veterans and victims of ghettos and concentration camps. “The next step is pogroms.”

Irwin Cotler, a Canadian Jewish leader … added, “The extreme Russian right blames the Jews for bringing about communism, and the old communist left blames the Jews for bringing about the downfall of communism.”

15% increase in Soviet aliya applications
from The Jerusalem Post
There was an immediate 15 percent increase in the number of Soviet Jews applying for exit visas since the attempted coup in Moscow, the head of the Jewish Agency’s operations in the Soviet Union told his superiors recently.

Baruch Gur said that there had also been a slight increase in the number of aliya inquiries fielded by agency emissaries throughout the country. He said that although more people are thinking about aliya, there are no signs of a mass exodus. Gur said that the rate of aliya will continue to depend largely on how absorption is handled in Israel.

Uri Gordon, head of the agency’s Immigration and Absorption Department … said that recent events should underscore to Soviet Jews how thin the line is that separates an open-gate emigration policy from the closing of the Iron Curtain. Gordon told a gathering of Soviet immigrants in Tel Aviv that for its part, Israel must realize how quickly a historic opportunity to absorb hundreds of thousands of immigrants can be lost.

Aliya … the latest facts
from Voice

  • Over 300,000 immigrants have arrived in Israel since last year. Since January 1991, over 120,000 Jews have emigrated to Israel.
  • Ethiopians lauded for success in military. According to General Ran Goren, head of the IDF Personnel Division, Ethiopian immigrants who arrived with Operation Moses have distinguished themselves in the army.
  • According to the Minister of Absorption, 4,500 scientists with doctorate degrees have arrived in Israel since the beginning of the great aliya. Of these, 2,000 have found employment in their fields.
  • Immigrants are flooding the schools. Almost 55,500 immigrant children entered the Israeli school system last year. Israel has hired 300 immigrant teachers, and is retraining 450 Soviet immigrants to teach in development towns.

No Embassy in Jerusalem
from Near East Report
The United States appears to have backed out of a plan to build a new embassy in Jerusalem. According to Kol Ha’ir (Sept. 6) the Americans asked to change the definition of a building they planned to construct in a southern suburb of Jerusalem from an “embassy” to a “diplomatic facility.” The term “ambassador’s home” has been changed to “the home of a senior diplomat.”

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