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January 26, 1996 - Image 104

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-01-26

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

Exquisite.

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Israel Bans Seven Jews
From Entering Country

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Jerusalem (JTA) — Israel has
banned seven American Jews, in-
cluding Rabbi Abraham Hecht of
New York, from entering the
country on the grounds that they
pose a threat to public order and
national security.
Rabbi Hecht declared last
summer that Jewish law per-
mitted the assassination of Israeli
leaders who endangered Jewish
lives by giving away land to se-
cure peace.
The move by Israel's Interior
Ministry appeared to be a pre-
emptive one-and comes in an at-
mosphere of high political tension
and polarization in the wake of
the Nov. 4 assassination of
Yitzhak Rabin.
After the killing, the ministry
announced that it would bar en-
try to activists in extremist
groups that support violent ac-
tions and are outlawed in
Israel.
The decision was based on pro-
visions in the Law of Return,
which governs the right of Jews
to immigrate to Israel and bans
those who pose a national secu-
rity threat.
One American was denied per-
mission to enter last month on
that basis.
A ministry statement said that
four of the others barred from en-
tering Israel had been linked to
planned illegal activities in Is-
rael.
It said one supported banned
extremist groups in Israel and
another was an activist with the
Jewish Defense League, found-
ed by the late extremist Rabbi
Meir Kahane.
Among the four allegedly
linked to illegal activities were
Marc Bluestein and Howard
Friedman, both of Philadelphia.
Longtime members of the
JDL, they were arrested and de-
tained in Israel in December
1993 on the suspicion of conspir-
ing to carry out attacks against
Arabs and arms smuggling.
The ministry statement iden-
tified the others allegedly con-
nected to planned illegal activities
as Mr. Bluestein's brother, Hal
Bluestein, also of Philadelphia,
and Michelle Benveniste.
It said George Mostanza, a
JDL activist from New York, was
also denied entry, as was Beza-
hd Cohen of Los Angeles, on al-
legedly supporting banned
extremist organizations.
It was not immediately clear
whether any of the seven had
sought to enter Israel recently.
In New York, Gad Ben-An, the
head of the Jewish Agency's del-
egation in North America, said
"There is a common denomina-
tor" to those barred entry.

"All of these people," including
Rabbi Hecht, "have engaged in
incitement against Israel and Is-
raeli democracy and in preach-
ing racism and violence."
"Ifs a very important decision,"
said Mr. Ben-Ari. Those who
have engaged in campaigns "to
discredit governmem authority
and democratic structures should
know very well that the mini-
mum price they will have to pay
is they will not be allowed to en-
ter Israel."
Rabbi Hecht apologized to Mr.
Rabin for his pronouncements a
few weeks before the assassina-
tion.
Last month, the board of his
synagogue, Congregation Shaare
Zion in Brooklyn, N.Y., voted to
suspend him.

Secret Police
Watched Jews

Prague (JTA) — Soviet officials
had once ordered the former
Czechoslovakia to keep tabs on
its Jewish citizens, according to
an official inquiry.
In August, Czech Jewish lead-
ers expressed alarm over reports
that the Communist-era Czech
secret police compiled lists of the
members of the country's Jewish
community.
At the time, the Czech Office
for the Documentation and In-
vestigation of the Crimes of Com-
munism, also known as the UDV,
said it would launch an investi-
gation of the reports.
As a result of that investiga-
tion, the UDV announced that,
having been prompted by
Moscow, the Czechoslovak Inte-
rior Ministry ordered the secret
police to register all Jewish citi-
zens and to monitor their activi-
ties during the 1970s and 1980s.
UDV head Vaclav Benda told
the Czech Press Agency that the
Czech secret police ultimately
compiled a list of 15,000 names,
adding that the police "followed
people" who visited synagogues,
met with Israelis or had relatives
in Israel.
Mr. Benda's deputy, Vladimir
Bret, said such surveillance was
probably due to Soviet concerns
about the Arab-Israeli conflicts
at the time. The former Soviet
Union was a major backer of
some of Israel's Arab foes.
During the investigation into
the secret police's registration of
Czech Jews — "Operation Spi-
der" as it was called— it was also
discovered that Moscow had or-
dered all its former satellite Com-
munist states to carry out similar
surveillance operations.

c-/

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