LONDON (Apr. 4)
David Markish, 34, the son of the late Russian-Yiddish poet Peretz Markish murdered in the Stalin purges of the 1950s, said here today that “active struggle” rather than “quiet diplomacy” was more effective in aiding Jews in the Soviet Union. Speaking at a press conference during his visit here, Markish said “It is all very well to wait for quiet diplomacy to make its impact on the freedom and safety of Israel or Britain, but it is a different matter when you live in the Soviet Union…with neither information nor hope. It is therefore clear that an active struggle is much more likely to be comforting to those involved in the Soviet Union, and above all more effective from the point of view of results.”
“Quiet diplomacy” was the phrase used by President Nixon at a meeting with American Jewish leaders during his re-election campaign last fall with reference to alleviating the plight of Russian Jews.
Markish, who emigrated with his mother Esther Markish to Israel last Nov., explained why many young Soviet olim tend to join Herut, a right-wing nationalist party, on their arrival in Israel. “Having been inculcated with Socialism in the Soviet Union which has not, obviously, worked for them, they find the political zeal of Herut, its undivided patriotism, and its refusal to accept the Socialist doctrine rather attractive,” he said.
Prof. Herman Branover of Riga, now living in Israel, who is also here on a visit, said last night he had realized the need to emigrate when it had become clear to him that he could not remain a Jew in the Soviet Union or give his son a proper Jewish education. The 44-year-old physicist and hydrodynamics expert and a former member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences told a meeting chaired by Chief Rabbi Dr. Immanuel Jakobovits that some Soviet Jews needed material help to tide them over between the loss of their jobs on application for an exit visa and their actual departure.