Political Parties Fighting for Allegiance of Soviet Jewish Emigres

The heavy influx of Jewish emigres from the Soviet Union has heated up rivalries between Israeli political parties for the allegiance of the newcomers, it was indicated in a speech made here last night by Israel Yeshayahu, secretary general of the Labor Party. Addressing women party members, Yeshayahu complained that because the Mapam faction controls the Absorption Ministry, that party has closer, more direct contact with the new arrivals and as a result there seems to be a slowdown in the trend of new immigrants to join the Labor Party.

Yeshayahu said he was “horrified” at the recent 28th World Zionist Congress by the presence of a “Russian immigrant front composed of members of Herut and the National Religious Party” who expressed the belief that Rabbi Meir Kahane and his militant Jewish Defense League did more for Russian Jewry than the Israeli public and its institutions.

A group of recent immigrants from Soviet Georgia met last night with Itzhak Ben Aharon, secretary general of Histadrut, and condemned the incitement by ultra-Orthodox circles among the newcomers. They said that emissaries of the Agudat Israel faction were operating among the Georgian Jews and inciting them against the State.

Hillel Seidel, of the Histadrut’s absorption department said the labor federation would conduct a special seminar for Georgian Jews to acquaint them with Jewish history. Police have given permission to a group of religious Jews from Georgia to demonstrate at Lydda Airport Sunday against alleged compulsion of religious Jews to work on the Sabbath.

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