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September 24, 1993 - Image 29

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-09-24

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

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New Location!

Yeltsin Move
Confuses Jews

New York (JTA) — Russia's
Jews are watching their
country's latest constitu-
tional crisis with a sense of
concern.
More than anything, Pres-
ident Boris Yeltsin's decree
dissolving Parliament
highlighted the two conflic-
ting views of what Russia's
future should be.
The future that Russian
Jews prefer is that favored
by Mr. Yeltsin, who envi-
sions a rapid transition to a
Western-style democracy
and economy. It is in hope of
such changes that rather
than making aliyah, Rus-
sian Jews are staying away
from Israel in droves.
But the hard-liners of the
Russian Parliament envi-
sion a future that is closer to
the old Soviet Union, or to a
Greek Orthodox theocracy,
than to Western democracy.
And Russia's Jews cannot
but worry which vision will
reign, when the dust settles
from this week's events.
There was President
Yeltsin, who signed a decree
eliminating Parliament and
called elections for a new
legislative body in
November.
And there was the Parlia-
ment, which claimed that
Mr. Yeltsin forfeited his post
by his decree and elected
Vice President Alexander
Rutskoi to serve in his stead.
The last parliamentary elec-
tions were held prior to Rus-
sian independence.
According to officials at
Jewish organizations who
spoke to Jews in Russia,
there was less information
in Moscow about the situa-
tion than in the Western
media — and consequently
less concern.
"It's too early to asses the
situation," Mark Levin, ex-
ecutive director of the Na-
tional Conference on Soviet
Jewry, said after a conversa-
tion with Michael Chlenov,
co-chairman of the Vaad,
Russian Jewry's umbrella
body.
Richard Wexler, chairman
of the National Conference,
added in a statement that
his group is "closely moni-
toring the situation with
regard to the status of the
Russian Jewish commun-
ity."
The statement, implicitly
taking sides in the power
struggle, continued, "We
trust that President Yeltsin
will continue to safeguard
human rights as the Russian
Federation moves toward
new elections." ❑

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