TEL AVIV (Dec. 21)
Raiza Palatnik, the 36-year-old Odessa librarian who served two years in a Soviet prison for allegedly distributing “anti-Soviet literature,” arrived today in Israel with a large group of other Soviet Jews. She told reporters at Lod Airport, “I will be absorbed very soon in my homeland where my people are living.” A world-wide campaign for her release was started almost as soon as she was first detained in Dec. 1970 in Odessa.
Miss Palatnik said that during her imprisonment she had been frequently interrogated in efforts “to persuade me that I was wrong and that I should reform.” She commented that she had been jailed with criminals “with whom it was easier to talk than with the prison management,” and reported that her parents had been permitted to visit her only twice a year and that she was barred from getting mail or parcels.
She contended that Soviet authorities had failed in handling their “Jewish problem.” adding that no Soviet official could halt the desire of the Jews in the USSR “to return to their national home.” The immigrants who arrived with Miss Palatnik on an El Al jumbo jet from Vienna were sent by Absorption Ministry officials to immigrant centers in various parts of Israel.