Shcharansky Critical of Israel’s Policy Regarding Soviet Jewry

Natan Shcharansky charged Tuesday that the Israeli government is avoiding a comprehensive public campaign on behalf of Jews in the Soviet Union.

His statement before a Knesset subcommittee on Soviet Jewry was Shcharansky’s first criticism of Israel policy since his arrival here last February II after nearly nine years in Soviet prisons and labor camps.

The internationally famous aliya activist and dissident told the Knesset panel that Israel should exert heavier pressure on the U.S. to act for Soviet Jews “so that at the next summit, the American press will write more about the anti-Soviet demonstrations and less on the dress of Mrs. Gorbachev.”

His caustic comment was a reference to the excessive media attention given the costumes of the wife of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev when she accompanies her husband on visits to the West.

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