JERUSALEM (Jun. 11)
Premier Menachem Begin called on the Jews of Iran to get out of that country as soon as possible and go wherever they choose. “We would prefer, of course, that they come to Israel, but the main thing is that they leave because they are in real danger, begin said.
He expressed that view at a meeting of the Coordinating Committee of Iranian Immigrants in Israel. The session was chaired by Likud MK Moshe Katsav who noted that Iran permitted the exit of its citizens but under severe restrictions with respect to what property and assets they could take with them.
Begin and Katsav seemed to imply that in view of the recent “judicial” moves against a number of Jews in Iran, Iranian Jews should set aside proprietary considerations and flee while they still can. “They do not seem to realize the danger of their situation, “Katsav told reporters after the meeting.
Although many Jews left Iran after the rabidly anti-Israel Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power in last year’s revolution, many have since returned and the majority of Iranian Jews still live in that country. Katsav blamed the indifferent attitude of Israeli society toward Iranian Jews who come to settle in Israel for the lack of any large scale immigration from Iran despite the ongoing turmoil there. He said the meeting decided to establish an “emergency group” to stimulate public opinion and private efforts to “save Iranian Jewry.”