Israel Hopes “iron Curtain” Lands Will Now Lift Emigration Ban
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Israel Hopes “iron Curtain” Lands Will Now Lift Emigration Ban

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Jews in Israel expressed satisfaction today over the resumption of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and the Jewish State. Hope was expressed on all sides that this development may pave the way for emigration to Israel of Jews from the USSR and other countries behind the Iron Curtain.

Some relaxation of the traditional Soviet policy against allowing Jews to emigrate from Russia to Israel may be Moscow’s next step, it is believed here. The re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Moscow makes it possible for Israel to take greater interest in some of the problems faced by Jews in countries behind the Iron Curtain who have registered for emigration to Israel but have received no exit visas from the lands which they intended to leave.

It is understood that the Israel Government intends to ask Moscow at a later stage to allow emigration of veteran Zionists and all those desiring to go to Israel. However, neither the time nor the form of Israel’s approach has yet been fixed.

Meanwhile, it was announced today that an organization of immigrants from Russia was formed in Tel Aviv with a view to provide aid in arranging for the possible emigration of their relatives from Russia to Israel and to assist in their integration into Israel’s life. Rabbi Mordecai Nurok, Mizrachi leader and member of the Israel Parliament, was elected president of this organization.


The Israel Government today started prepar {SPAN}###{/SPAN}for reopening its Legation in Moscow within two months. Although no Ministers a {SPAN}###{/SPAN} has yet been named, it is believed that Shmuel Elyashev–who held this {SPAN}###{/SPAN} when the Soviet Union broke off relations with Israel–will return to his position in the Soviet capital.

A spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, commenting today on the letter which Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett sent to Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, and especially on the phrase in that letter which stated that “Israel will not be a party to any aggression against the Soviet Union,” declared:

“This does not mean any change in Israel’s established foreign policy. Israel has never planned and does not plan any aggression or alliances for aggression against Russia. On the other hand, Israel’s policy remains unchanged toward any power in the Middle East or the West.”

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