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Israeli Envoy Rips Glasnost

The new Soviet policies of “glasnost” (openness) and “perestroika” (renewal) have meant little to Soviet Jews, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Pinchas Eliav stated at a recent meeting of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.

He deplored the prohibitions against Jewish expression and education. “Jews are not even allowed to attend Hebrew courses given in Soviet universities for Christian theological students,” he declared. “No Hebrew books can be published and no printed material on Jewish subjects is available in any language apart from the 7,000 copies of the monthly Soviet Homeland.”

He said 400,000 Jews have expressed the desire to go to Israel, but that in recent years their emigration has been limited to about 1,000 annually. He welcomed the increase this year to about 4,000, but noted that the current rate would mean another 700 months (58-plus years) for the 400,000 to leave.