Warm Welcome in Moscow for Six Israeli Visitors; Meet with Worshippers, Rabbi

Six Israelis currently visiting the Soviet Union on the invitation of the Soviet Peace Committee received a warm welcome when they arrived in Moscow last Thursday and had a “general discussion on Israeli-Russian relations” with Peace Committee members, one of the delegates reported today in a telephone conversation from Odessa. Prof. Dan Miron, of the Hebrew University’s literature department said the group met with Jewish worshippers at the Odessa synagogue yesterday and had a talk this morning with the Odessa Rabbi Israel Schwartzblatt. Their Itinerary includes Kishinev, Leningrad and other Soviet cities. The Soviet Peace Committee, which extended the invitation, is a government-sponsored unit. The Israeli visitors are members of the Committee for Improving Relations with the Soviet Union but none has an official position in Israel. Two are affiliated with the Communist-sponsored Israeli League for Friendship with the Soviet Union. Tass, the Soviet news agency, described the group as “progressive public figures” seeking “to become acquainted with the life of the Soviet Union.”

One of the delegates, Nathan Yalin-Mor, former Stern Gang leader and a former Knesset member, was quoted as saying on his arrival in Moscow that the group hoped to talk to Soviet Jews, “listen to them(and) learn first hand of their experience here.” He added, “We are certainly going to talk with our hosts and perhaps some other people about the political situation in the Middle East. I think there is a basis for understanding, even on that.” The Israeli said his group “shall certainly interest ourselves” in the question of Soviet Jewish emigration. Other members of the delegation are James Jacob Rosenthal, Parliamentary correspondent emeritus of the newspaper Haaretz, Yaacov Riftin, a former Mapam MK, Ruth Luvitch and Moshe Edelberg, members of the Israel Peace Committee and the Israeli League for Friendship with the Soviet Union.

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