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Soviet Jews Enjoy ‘negative Freedom’ of Expression, Observer Reports

April 19, 1968
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Jews in the Soviet Union enjoy freedom of expression of a negative sort, according to a report here by a Jewish community leader from a Western country who has just returned from a private visit to the USSR. The informant, a trained and diligent observer, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that despite ceaseless attacks on Israel and Zionism and other pressures, the Jewish Individual has as much freedom of expression as any other Soviet citizen. He exercises that freedom by refusing to attack Israel privately or publicly. Jews say they see no reason why they should suddenly begin to hate Israel and love the Arabs merely because of what they call “international politics.” the traveller said.

The young Soviet Jew, the visitor declared, is the “new Soviet man,” like the rest of his generation but with Jewish ancestors. “He considers himself fully entitled to have his own views about art, literature and politics, including Middle East politics.”

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