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News Brief

December 1, 1971
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Peled noted that there are about 80,000 Jews in Soviet Georgia and all signs indicate that most of them want to come to Israel. He said about one-third of all immigrants now coming from the Soviet Union are Georgians. The main grievance of the new arrivals is that they are not housed in large concentrations as they were in Georgia Peled said, where they were used to living in large family groups or clans and were concentrated in only three localities. Another complaint was that no synagogues were built for them here, the Minister said.

According to Peled, the newcomers have already formed four rival groups which are vying in their demands to the authorities. Asked about reports of incitement by non-Georgians, Peled said it was not his Ministry’s business to investigate such matters. He disclosed that a special nine-man team has been formed to deal with problems concerning Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union. The team is headed by a former Lt. Col., Grisha Payis, himself an immigrant from the USSR and includes two immigrants from Georgia who speak the language.

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