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February 23, 1990 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-02-23

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

SPECIAL REPORT ❑ THE NEW EXODUS

edits the Herald of Soviet
Jewish Culture, disagreed
with his colleagues and
asserted that Soviet Jews are
better off staying in the
USSR and working towards
building a Jewish life there.
His Moscow bi-weekly with a
circulation of 40,000 advo-
cates civil rights for all,
rather than aliyah.
A handsome man of 59,
Golenpolsky dressed like
Hollywood — with expen-
sive suits and silk ascots —
and sounded like Middle
America. With a doctorate
in American studies from a
Soviet university, he had no
trace of an accent, leading
one American Jewish jour-
nalist from the South to ask
him, only half kiddingly,
why he spoke better English
than she did.
"I lived in Shanghai until
I was 18," he said.
His reply only added to
the mystery about this man,
who soon became the focus
of numerous rumors during
the conference.
The most persistent was
that Golenpolsky is in Sovi-
et intelligence. He was said
to be quite wealthy and own
two large American cars.
Other Soviet delegates to
the conference steered clear
of him.
Alexander Shmukler, an-
other member of the Soviet
delegation, told journalists
that Golenpolsky represents
a minority view. Shmukler
edits the Jewish Informa-
tion Bulletin, a bi-monthly
in Moscow which stresses a-
liyah and seeks to prepare
Soviet Jews for living in Is-
rael by giving them Jewish

values "so that they can
succeed when they come
here."
He stated matter-of-factly
that "this is the last chapter
of Jewish life in the Soviet
Union."

Test Of Zionism

While the conference and
seminar focused on Soviet
Jewish emigration, other
aspects of the challenge of
Israeli survival were every-
where.
There is Nablus, the
largest Arab city on the
West Bank — where the inti-
fada is a daily reality: A
handsome Israeli colonel
with a wound under his eye
from the previous day's dis-
turbances surveyed the
scene and talked of the need
to control the main road.
Then he picked up a heavy
chunk of concrete to show
the common weapons of the
intifada.
"You read about
`stones,' "he said, "but these
are rocks that can kill."
Ironically, Israel's De-
fense Minister spoke to the
visiting journalists about
the prospects for peace,
while the Foreign Minister
focused on the need to be
strong militarily. Defense
Minister Yitzhak Rabin said
that the Palestinians have
grown tired of the intifada
and that Israel has gained
the upper hand.
"They know that throw-
ing rocks and stones will
lead them nowhere," he said,
and peace negotiations are
the only solution.
Foreign Minister Moshe
Arens cautioned that

Shamir: the Soviet Jewish emigration is a miracle in history.

"Israel's only chance for
peace" is to prove that she
cannot be beaten on the bat-
tlefield. "But the Arabs are
not ready for peace," he
said.
Yet he, and every other Is-
raeli official addressing the
journalists saw salvation in
the prospect of massive all-
yah from the Soviet Union.
"The most important factor
of all is aliyah," Arens said.
"Had there been more the
last 41 years, Israel would
be stronger today. And that
is true for the future."
The future is discussed
more than the present these
days in Israel, as leaders
look past what they see as

the short-term adjustment
problems of absorbing hun-
dreds of thousands of Soviet
Jews to the more stable and
productive society they
envision in five or ten years.
No one wants to discuss the
possibility that the new olim
may become impatient and
dissatisfied enough with
housing and employment
shortages to seek to leave
Israel and emigrate else-
where.
"Israelis love aliyah; they
just hate olim," Ma'ariv edi-
tor Ido Dissenshik noted
y
wryl.
The result could be the
greatest test of Zionism and
world Jewish unity in recent

1$'

rae and the
11301 - ti

Mystery man: Tancred Golenpolsky,
Soviet Jewish editor

Newcomers to Ra'anana: Yisrael Mendelevich, daughter Anna and her
grandmother.

years. All the pieces are in
place: The Soviet Jews
whose freedom has been a
cause for two decades are on
their way. The government
of Israel, which has pleaded
for aliyah, is seeing its wish
fulfilled. And the American
Jewish community that has
said it will do anything for
Israel — short of making a-
liyah — is being called on to
make an extraordinary fi-
nancial effort.
The Jewish world stands
pOised on the brink of great
change. The rhetoric of the
Zionist dream could soon
become a nightmare or a
dream fulfilled. ❑

71TJ

JeW ish Pen

V

1 1 111 1 7 1

Natan Sharansky, Mikhail Chlenov and Yuri Kosharovsky discuss the future
of Soviet Jewry at a conference session.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

27

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