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Two Leading Israeli Papers Differ on Soviet Dropout Issue

Two of Israel’s leading newspapers have taken diametrically opposing views on the issue of dropouts. Editorials in the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz reflect the polarization of opinion in Israel as to whether assistance should be extended to Jews who leave the Soviet Union with Israeli visas but go elsewhere.

The Post maintains that dropouts should not be aided by Israel or by world Jewish organizations because their defection jeopardizes the entire aliya movement in the USSR. Haaretz holds, however, that denying these emigrants aid would transgress against a cardinal Jewish precept–“Pidyon Shevuyim” (the rescue of prisoners). The paper states that the rescue of Jews from a land where they cannot maintain their Jewishness takes primacy over what their ultimate destination may be.

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