TEL AVIV (Jun. 27)
A breathless Mikhail Zand arrived here by plane Thursday night with a group of other Russian Jews from Vienna and said over and over again “I can hardly believe it–my dream has come true.” He was accompanied by six members of his family–his wife and two children, his mother, his sister and his sister’s daughter. The Russian Jewish Orientalist scholar had undergone unusual mistreatment even for Soviet Jews seeking to leave for Israel, including a suspension of his visa on the eve of a scheduled departure. Academic groups in the United States and Europe had appealed to Soviet authorities on his behalf and he was again given exit documents earlier in the week. Speaking to reporters in good Hebrew, Dr. Zand, who will be a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, said: “Is it true? This morning I was still in Moscow and now I am at home, and alive.” He told reporters of his experiences in Soviet jails, of ill treatment, of his hunger strike and efforts by his Russian jailers to feed him forcibly. After he was dismissed from his job, he said, he was banned from publishing any research studies. But, he added, “I am here and I feel good.” He expressed the opinion that the best way to help Jews still in Russia was arousal of public opinion in their behalf.