LONDON (Oct. 17)
The recent upsurge in attacks on Israel and Zionism in the Soviet government newspaper Izvestia and the Literaturnaya Gazeta is reflected in the latest edition of Sovietish Heimland, the USSR’s official Jewish periodical which in the past has been relatively restrained. Sovietish Heimland usually confined itself to literary and cultural issues except for an occasional attack on former contributors now in Israel.
The current issue opens with a poem by the editor, Aaron Vergelis, which depicts Russian Jews who have gone to Israel begging the Soviet Ambassador in Vienna for permission to return to the Soviet Union. In the hypothetical conversation, the Jews say “We are returnees. We had risked everything. We are coming back from Israel. from Ashdod and Beersheba. We were cheated out of Kishinev and sent to those places. We were promised a good life, abundance and Justice. We were given nothing in Israel. For the Israelis, Israel is large and good. We too have a motherland. We beg of you kind Ambassador, to listen to us as we plead out of our distress.”
The issue also contains an article by Gen. David Dragunsky, the highest ranking Jewish officer in the Soviet armed forces, vigorously denying reports that he said appeared in Western and Israeli newspapers that he was trying to go to Israel.