‘glasnost’ Policy Eluding Soviet Jews

Despite Soviet indication of greater Jewish emigration in 1987, only 98 visas were granted by authorities in January, it was announced Monday by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ). Commenting on the January figure, NCSJ chairman Morris Abram stated:

“One year ago, in the wake of a much publicized announcement by Soviet officials that increased Jewish emigration was imminent, only 79 visas were granted to Soviet Jews. Emigration remained at a stagnant low for the entire year. In late 1986, in the spirit of General Secretary Gorbachev’s policy of ‘glasnost,’ it was announced that there would be an increase in Jewish emigration in 1987.

“If the January 1987 figure is a harbinger of the effect of ‘glasnost’ on Jewish emigration, then one can only believe that there is no ‘glasnost’ for nearly 380,000 Soviet Jews. If General Secretary Gorbachev wishes to achieve credibility in the West for his new policy line, Jewish emigration must increase dramatically in the coming months.”

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