Shamir Admits Concern over Losing Vote of Soviet Olim

Admitting that his Likud government is “worried” about losing their support, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir urged Soviet immigrants to “consider broader national issues” when they go to the polls — June 23 and “not vote under the influence of your personal, transient problems.”

In a spirited address to some 300 olim at the Diplomat Hotel, which now serves as an absorption center in Jerusalem, the prime minister said Tuesday that he knew many of the newcomers were unhappy in their present circumstances, lacking suitable jobs and adequate homes.

“I appeal to you,” said Shamir, speaking first in Hebrew and then in Yiddish, “do not cast your vote under the influence of your present problems. Consider the broader national issues: peace, defense, borders, the economy.”

Shamir said it was “only natural” that new immigrants were having a hard time during their first two years in the country.

“But we can’t postpone the elections until you are comfortably settled,” he said.

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