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July 22, 1983 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-07-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

;

10 friday,ly 22, 1983

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Author Says Success of Israel Embassy Led to Stalin Attack on Jews

Moscow from 1949 to 1955,
says in a recent memoir that
the success of the Israel
Embassy in Moscow was
one of the reasons which
prompted Stalin to a de-
mented attack against
Soviet Jews.
In his book, "A Journey
for Our Times" (Harper and
Row), an autobiographical
account of his experiences
in the Soviet capital, Salis-

TORONTO (JTA) — Har-
rison Salisbury, former na-
tional editor of The New
York Times and correspon-
dent'for that newspaper in

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bury reveals that the Israel
Embassy was the envy of all
other legations.
"The quality of the Mos-
cow diplomatic corps was
not high. Expertise at the
American Embassy after
(George) Kennan's forced
withdrawal was thin .. .
The extraordinary skills of
the Israelis would soon be
last," Salisbury writes.
"They had staffed their
mission with Russian-
born, Russian-speaking
diplomats. They had
unrivaled access to
friends, relatives, co-
religionists — one reason,
I thought why, Stalin de-
veloped such paranoia
about them."
Salisbury says that when
Golda Meir took up her posi-
tion as Israel's Ambassador
in the Soviet capital in 1948
long lines of Jews queued up
outside the Metropol Hotel
in order to shake hands with
her.
"That exhibition in cen-
tral Moscow within sight of
the Lubyanka (prison) hit
Stalin's anti-Semitic nerve
and may have touched off
the cosmopolitanism drive.
In an indirect way, it may
have caused Stalin to decree
the deaths of the members
of the Jewish anti-Fascist
Committee," Salisbury
says.
He also writes about
other developments that led
to attacks against Jews and
Israel at the time. Salisbury

While he was not aware
at that time what had hap-
pened to the Jewish intel-
ligentsia, Salisbury reports
that a major staple of Mos-
cow talk consisted of anti-
Semitic jokes. In , his
memoir, Salisbury records
some of those anti-Jewish
stories and recalls that on a
number of occasions he
chided his Russian friends
for engaging in such ariti-
Semitic banter.

JOSEF STALIN

says that during the hal-
cyon days of Israel-Soviet
relations Jaffa orange
were being sold in Moscow
for the equivalent of $5 each
in local stores.
Muscovites attributed
the availability of the Is-
raeli citrus to Anastas
Mikoyan, the Soviet
minister responsible for
food imports. Rumor had
it, says Salisbury, that the
Russians had paid Israel
a penny-and-a-half for
each orange, the result-
ing profit going directly
into Kremlin coffers.
Salisbury recounts that
on his arrival in the Soviet
capital in 1949 he found the
city under a siege mental-
ity. Western diplomats were
virtually under house ar-
rest in their embassy corn-
pounds. Soviet citizens,
with rare exception, were
petrified to be seen talking
to Westerners.

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The response was always
the same, says Salisbury.
After telling the most
nauseating anti-Jewish
stories, they would, upon
being challenged by him,
insist that there was no
such thing as anti-Semitism
in the Soviet Union because
it had been officially banned
in the Soviet Constitution.

By referring to notes he
made during his almost
six-year stint in Moscow,
Salisbury is able to re-
construct the atmos-
phere of hysteria which

was circulating in Russia
in the years before Sta-
lin's death. One of the
elements in that hysteria
was the report of eco-
nomic crimes found in
Soviet newspapers.
The perpetrators were
identifiably Jewish in each
case. He cites one news-
paper account of the sum-
mary execution of three
Jews reported in the Soviet
press in 1950. Their names
gave them away. The death
penalty was the talk of the
town because it was un-
precedented.
Salisbury says that Sta-
lin's wild accusations
against Jewish physicians
(later retracted under
Khrushchev) were widely
accepted as true by the
Soviet people. During the
early 1950's Salisbury had
occasion to visit friends in a
Moscow hospital and he re-
calls the vicious conversa-
tions he heard in that in-
stitution about the wicked-
ness of Jewish physicians.

Kissinger Chosen to -Head
Panel on Central America

WASHINGTON —
Former Secretary of State
Henry A. Kissinger was
chosen this week by
President Reagan to head a
bipartisan commission to
deal with recent problems
in Central America.
The President said the ob-
jective of the panel would be
to examine underlying
problems and define a long-
term approach for the
United Staes and its rela-
tions with Latin American
countries.
The appointment of Kis-
singer to head the panel is
not without controversy,
the New York Times re-

ported. The former secre-
tary of state and national
security adviser has, until
recently, been rather cool in
his relations with the cur-
rent Administration. The
Times cited Reagan's criti-
cism of Kissinger's policies
during the 1976 President-
ial election campaign as one
reason for the strained rela-
tions between the President
and Kissinger.
Recently, however, Kis-
singer has been an occa-
sional ,visitor at the White
House and has had lunch
from time to time with the
President, the Times re-
ported.

Report Shamir Held Secret
Parley With African Official

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
Israeli sources are dis-
couraging speculation that
"dramatic developments"
are imminent in Israel's re-
lations with some African
countries.
The speculation followed
an exclusive report in
Maariv last Friday that
Foreign Minister Yitzhak
Shamir held a secret meet-
ing in Europe last week
with a prominent African
statesman from a country
which does not have dip-
lomatic ties with Israel.
The Foreign Ministry is
not prepared to acknowl-

edge any such meeting and
did not react to the report.
Shamir returned to Israel
Friday afternoon.

The informed sources said
Shamir met with more than
one African envoy, though
they would not say with
whom. They said he dis-
cussed "bilateral relations
between Israel and a
number of African countries
— among them some that do
and some that do not have
diplomatie ties with Israel."
Israel has ties with Zaire,
Malawi, Lesotho and Swazi-
land, and with South Africa.

Red Cross Visits POWs

GENEVA (JTA) —
Representatives of the Red
Cross visited the six Israeli
prisoners of war held by the
Palestine Liberation organ-
ization in Lebanon last
week. The International
Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) said that the visit
took place last Friday and
the POWs were found in
good condition.

According to the ICRC,
the visit was conducted
under its regulations. The

POWs were able to speak
freely with the Red Cross
representatives without
witnesses present. The
delegation included a doc-
tor.
Syria holds three Israeli
POWs who are visited by
the Red Cross regularly
every three weeks. But two
Israelis held by Ahmed fib-
ril's Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine-
General Command have
been visited only once, early
last May.

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