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Jewish Settlers to Raise Own Funds for Absorption of Olim in Territories

November 29, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Leaders of the Gush Emunim settlers movement are planning to conduct their own fund-raising efforts overseas for the absorption of Soviet olim in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Uri Ariel, secretary of the Council of Jewish Settlements in Judea and Samaria, said his group, which is led by Gush Emunim activists, is considering sending emissaries abroad to raise funds on its own to absorb Jewish emigres from the Soviet Union in the West Bank.

One such emissary, Soviet Jewish activist Yosef Begun, who now lives in Kiryat Arba, is presently with a group on a fund-raising mission to Britain.

Ariel said that the council is being forced to launch its own fund-raising efforts because the Jewish Agency for Israel will not provide funds for absorption of Soviet Jews in the administered territories.

He charged that this “unacceptable” policy is not the result of pressure by the U.S. government, but compliance with the desire of donors to the United Jewish Appeal, which provides the lion’s share of funds to the Jewish Agency.

According to Ariel, some 200 families from the Soviet Union have been successfully absorbed in the West Bank in recent months. He said money for their initial requirements came from the council’s own funds instead of the Jewish Agency or the government’s Immigration and Absorption Ministry.

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