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Groundswell Support Gathering for Letting Soviet Family Stay

January 9, 1990
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Scores of Israelis, including several Knesset members, are urging the authorities to allow four related families of Soviet immigrant to remain in the country even though they are not Jewish.

The clamor for indulgence on humanitarian grounds began after the Interior Ministry rescinded the automatic citizenship it said was mistakenly accorded the 19 members of the Tropimov clan and issued them tourist visas instead.

The family is Catholic and does not intend to convert.

According to 63-year-old Pyotr Tropimov, in a Haifa newspaper story that first appeared last Friday, the Tropimovs came to Israel because the Soviet authorities would not give them an exit permit for the United States.

Tropimov said they got their Israeli visas on the basis of an invitation from a friend in Beersheba.

The first members of the family to arrive were overwhelmed, first by the warmth of their reception at Ben-Gurion Airport and then by the apartment allocated them in Haifa as well as financial assistance, Tropimov said.

They wrote to their relatives to join them.

The Jewish Agency said such occurrences, though rare, are not unknown.

But the Interior Ministry expressed surprise.

Spokeswoman Dvora Ellison said Sunday that immigrant status would be withdrawn from anyone not entitled to it, and that the Tropimovs would soon have to find themselves “another corner of the world.”

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