JERUSALEM (Mar. 30)
Hundreds of thousand s of Soviet Jews are on the verge of being allowed to emigrate, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Speaking here at the closing session of the Jewish National Fund’s fourth national assembly, Netanyahu said that Moscow is about to change its policy on emigration.
The result, he said, is that “Jewish citizens are going to have the opportunity to leave the Soviet Union in numbers that we don’t even imagine.” He said this could be “on the order of hundreds of thousands, and I’m being conservative.”
The Jerusalem Post, in its Friday edition, confirms that the source of Netanyahu’s information is a secret intelligence report delivered to the Foreign Ministry.
Netanyahu said the Soviet decision to release so many Jews is based on its desire to change it’s image. “It’s going to do so, not because of the love of Zion, and it’s not going to let out Jews exclusively.
“It’s going to let out Soviet citizens basically under the assumption of, why should it carry the monkey on its back? Why should it be accused of being a prison?”
Netanyahu said that only two countries in the world will open their gates: “Germany, which will accept all Germans and repatriate them, and Israel. Now that’s a fact of life.”
The deputy foreign minister told the JNF audience that it must do all that it can to help absorb the expected influx of Jews.
“We’re going to have to change our priorities.” he said. “Our effort so far has been to open the gates. Our new effort is going to be to absorb these hundreds of thousands of Jews. And hundreds of thousands of Jews here make a tremendous difference.”