TEL AVIV (Apr. 30)
“Silva Zalmanson will testify whenever she saw me I assured her that her husband, Eduard Kuznetsov, will return,” Premier Menachem Begin asserted today. “I told her he will return and here he is.”
Begin made this statement as he welcomed Kuznetsov and Mark Dymshits at Ben Gurion Airport after they arrived from New York where they had been taken from a Siberian prison along with three other Soviet dissidents in exchange for two Russians jailed in the United States on spy charges. Silva Zalmanson also accompanied her husband from New York.
Also there to greet the two new arrivals were five other Soviet Jews, who, like them, had been imprisoned in the 1970 Leningrad hijacking trial and who had arrived here yesterday. One of them was Vulf Zalmanson, Silva’s brother.
The welcome today was almost a carbon copy of yesterday’s joyous greeting ceremony. Begin again spoke in Hebrew, Russian and English as he called Kuznetsov and Dymshits heroes of the spirit. He again thanked President Carter for what he has done in behalf of Soviet Jewry and the Prisoners of Zion in particular. He said he was sure when Carter meets with Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev he will take up the matter of the Soviet Jews still in prison or in exile in Siberia.
Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives, declared that no effort will be spared to bring about the release of the prisoners.
Kuznetsov repeated what he said during his speech at a massive Soviet Jewry rally in New York yesterday that his nine years in Soviet prisons were easier because he knew the entire Jewish people was behind him.
Dymshits, a pilot and engineer, spoke with emotion of his experience aboard the El Al plane which brought him and Kuznetsov to Israel and how he had been invited into the cockpit and shown the advanced technology of the El Al Boeing.
REUNION WITH FAMILIES
As in yesterday’s ceremony, the two new arrivals were presented identity card by Absorption Minister David Levy, making them full-fledged Israeli citizens. They were then hoisted on the shoulders of the crowd in a heroes welcome.
Meanwhile, the five who arrived yesterday had many emotional reunions with their families today. Leib Khnokh went to the apartment of his aged parents in Migdal Haemek where he saw for the first time his eight-year-old son Yigal. The boy was born in Israel after his mother left the Soviet Union following Khnokh’s arrest.
Boris Penson, an artist, went to his mother’s apartment in Netanya and plans to start his painting again. Hillel Butman is going to Kibbutz Na’an where his wife is already a member, and Anatoly Altman is going to Kibbutz Yagur.