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Dulzin Criticizes Government, Jewish Agency and Soviet Olim for Ongoing Problem of Dropouts

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Leon Dulzin, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, castigated both the government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for neglecting in recent years the problem of Soviet Jewish emigrants who drop out in Vienna. He said both institutions share the responsibility for what he termed a national tragedy. At the same time, he also blamed the Soviet immigrants in Israel for responsibility in this situation.

Addressing hundreds of former Prisoners of Conscience who gathered here for their third annual meeting, Dulzin declared: “You are to be blamed just as we are. The thousands of letters that you and other olim have sent back to the Soviet Union with endless complaints have contributed a lot to the dropout phenomenon. Those who have settled here and have been absorbed do not write complaints. But there are others who have no patience, and these write about problems, about difficulties, about disorder. True, they exist, but almost all cases have been solved. It is a fact that 140,000 Russian Jews live in Israel and earn their livelihood.”

Dulzin said that the government, because of political problems, has had no time to deal with aliya, absorption and the dropout problem. In addition, he said, the various political parties have been unable to arrive at a consensus about what measures should be taken to deal with these problems. “As a free people we shall not prevent those wishing to go elsewhere (other than to Israel) from doing so,” he declared. “But we will not help them to do so.”

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