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Shcharansky: Quiet Diplomacy Won’t Open Gates for Soviet Jews Unless It is Accompanied by Public Pro

Quiet diplomacy will never open the gates for Soviet Jews unless it is accompanied by “all forms of public protest,” Anatoly Shcharansky told a rally of some 2,000 students here Saturday night.

The rally was sponsored by the World Union of Jewish Students and marked the first public appearance by the Soviet Jewish aliya activist since the press conference he held a day after his arrival in Israel last February II.

Quiet diplomacy “has absolutely no chance of success if it is not conducted against a background of very strong public activity,” he said in reply to a question. He insisted that even if negotiations should open between Israel and the Soviet Union to renew diplomatic relations, it is “very important” that Israel does not agree to stop activity in support of Russian Jews who wish to emigrate. “Without open doors for the Jews (Soviet leader Mikhail) Gorbachev must not be trusted,” Shcharansky said.

Asked how he was adjusting to life in Israel, Shcharansky replied, “In the Soviet Union I got accustomed to many years of living in a sea of hatred. Now I have to get accustomed to living in an ocean of love.” He acknowledged that people look upon him as a “symbol” of the struggle for Soviet Jews.