TEL AVIV (May. 23)
An appeal to the Soviet Government to permit the emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union to Israel was voiced today by Premier David Ben Gurion at ceremonies at the Afikim settlement marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the settlement.
More than 10,000 settlers from the surrounding region, as well as prominont guests from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv who participated in the celebration, heard the Israel Premier’s please Mr. Ben Gurion reminded the Soviet Government that it had promised freedom and equality for all peoples, but said that it is not carrying out this promise as far as Jews of the U.S.S.R. are concerned.
The Jews of Soviet Russia, he said, do not enjoy their own schools nor do they have Hebrew or Yiddish newspapers. He said there is no discrimination in the Soviet Union, but expressed the opinion that the Soviet Government does not understant the special character of the Jewish problem.
Emphasizing that Israel is determined not to give up the right of every Jew to come to the Jewish state, Mr. Ben Gurion addressed himself to the Jews of the Soviet Union declaring: “Your hopes are our hopes. They are constantly present in our minds.” He urged the Soviet Government to permit emigration of those Jews who wish to go to Israel to participate in the country’s reconstruction “exactly as did the first Afikim pioncers who came from Russia.”