TEL AVIV (Aug. 8)
A visiting Soviet editor who supports the policies of President Mikhail Gorbachev says he fully accepts Israel’s position opposing a Palestinian state.
Anatoly Golovkov, associate editor of the influential Soviet weekly Ogonyok, emerged from a 90-minute meeting with Ariel Sharon, Likud minister of housing, convinced that a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would pose too great a security risk for Israel to accept.
He was also impressed by Sharon’s argument that “Jordan is Palestine,” Golovkov said in an interview published Wednesday in the Jerusalem Post.
That argument, advanced by Israel’s right wing, maintains that since Palestinians constitute a majority of Jordan’s population, they already have a state of their own.
Golovkov said he would report to his 10 million readers that Israel is not sending Soviet Jewish immigrants to settle in the administered territories, an allegation made by Arab countries and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Golovkov said his weeklong working visit to Israel, which ended Wednesday, “shattered” his preconceived notions about Israel.
Golovkov said he plans to write an analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unlike any hitherto found in the Soviet media.
During his visit, Golovkov met with a wide range of Israeli leaders and personalities, including immigrants from the Soviet Union.
He met no Palestinians, explaining that he had plenty of opportunity to meet them in Moscow.
“Every time there is a fascist rally in Moscow, which ultimately takes on anti-Semitic and anti-Israel tones, Palestinians come to take part. I can speak to them there,” he said.
Golovkov, who writes on Communist Party affairs and ethnic relations for his magazine’s internal policy department, said he would try to change the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel feelings that have gripped much of the Soviet population.
Golovkov’s visit was sponsored by Satec, a high-technology firm founded in Jerusalem two years ago for Soviet olim by Professor Herman Branover, a world-renowned physicist who emigrated from the Soviet Union 1972.
Golovkov said that when he arrived in Israel, he was unprepared for the “flowering, quiet and pleasant country” he found.
“There is a relaxed atmosphere here, and the feeling of a good life,” the Russian visitor said.
Regarding the intifada, he said it cannot achieve anything, and praised the Israel Defense Force, saying it was not an aggressive army. “It is the best army in the Middle East,” Golovkov said. “If it’s an aggressive force, why isn’t it going after more land?”