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May 08, 1987 - Image 50

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-05-08

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

AWARD WINNING PHOTOGRAPHY BY

BUZ HOLZMAN

0 TO GRAPHERS

284 S. HUNTER
BIRMINGHAM - 48011

540-6922

THE SOVIET JEWRY DEAL

GREAT AMERICAN BASKETCO.

SAY "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY"
THE GREAT AMERICAN BASKET WAY!!

Home delivery nationwide
et t.RIc4,,p
m,-111 •
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k

7

C C

r -I " Call our basket
We begin with a basket . . . 0
• . • 4 : n
,.., , -
planners at
then fill it with
--
; 1- f ;
,,, ------, -,---•.-_ _--
626-9050
imagination!
29594 Orchard Lake Rd. • At 13 Mile

.0

T. r ,

Some 200 mothers left their

children behind when they
emigrated to Israel from the Soviet
Union. Now they have organized to
campaign for their children's aliya.

the finest expressions of love come from .

GEM/DIAMOND SPECIALIST
Established 1919
AWARDED CERTIFICATE BY GIA IN GRADING & EVALUATION
30400 TELEGRAPH RD., BIRMINGHAM, MI 43010, SUITE 134

50

Friday, May 8, 1987

Phone: 642-5575

Daily
Thurs.
Sat.

10-5:30
10-8:30
10-5:00

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

a lot of dissatisfaction," he says. "But the
government and the Jewish Agency never
really came to grips with the absorption
problem.
"And when the numbers of immigrants
fell to almost nothing, there was simply no
pressure on the leaders to come to the
table.
"Now the pressure is increasing. There
is pressure from the Israeli public, from the
Soviet immigrants who are settled here,
from American Jewry and from Soviet
Jewry organizations — all have made it
clear that they will be playing very activist
roles as involved and interested watch-
dogs.
"Perhaps the answer is to separate areas
of responsibility, giving the Jewish Agency
exclusive control over immigration, and the
ministry exclusive control over absorption.
"Perhaps we should look at taking
politics out of the Jewish Agency alto-
gether. Certainly, we have to get our act
together on this issue."
For all that, a large question mark still
hangs over the ability of the government
and Jewish Agency to successfully absorb
the new immigrants.
Without a resolution to the struggle for
control of the absorption process; without
any diminution in the overweening bu-
reaucracy; without any fresh ideas on how
to create jobs at a time of economic
malaise and rising unemployment, it would
be a brave or reckless Israeli who would
confidently predict that past mistakes will
not be repeated.
But an even more intractable problem
awaits the Israeli bureaucrats on the tar-
mac of Ben-Gurion Airport when the first
flights carrying the new immigrants touch
down.
In the past, Soviet emigrants who chose

not to settle in Israel were able to "drop
out" in Vienna and proceed to the United
States or some other Western country as
refugees.
In terms of the deal struck in Moscow
last month, however, the emigrants will be
flown to Rumania and from there, like it or
not, they will be put aboard planes for Tel
Aviv.
Thousands of reluctant Soviet Jews are
thus expected to arrive in Israel unwilling-
ly over the next 12 months, and Israel
could then be faced with the acutely em-
barrassing predicament of Soviet Jews
refusing to accept Israeli citizenship; of
thousands of Jewish refugees in the Jewish
homeland — giving new meaning to the
term Prisoners of Zion.
The Jewish Agency's Howard Weisband
is concerned about the lack of attention
this potentially combustible problem is
receiving in Israel.
"No one in Israel is saying, `Dammit, we
have to sit down and really understand the
implications of the problem and how we will
deal with it,"' he says. "The Israelis simply
say: 'We should only have such problems:
"They feel they can tough it out, but
they can't if they don't first have a decent
understanding of the issue with American
Jewry and a decent absorption process."
Weisband believes that the prospect of
a massive Soviet immigration should be
the catalyst for the formulation of a
"global Jewish policy" involving Diaspora
leaders, the Jewish Agency and the politi-
cal establishment of Israel.
"If we can pull this thing together we
have a real chance of success," he says.
"Anything less will result in a chaotic
situation which will do us no good. The
Jewish people will be the losers." ❑

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