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Jewish Emigration and the Changes in the Soviet Union

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A changed situation in the Soviet Union has changed the terms of Soviet Jewish immigration to Israel. There is no longer communist tyranny in the Soviet Union; there is budding democracy and great hope for political and economic progress, and religion can be practiced freely. We are told that many of the immigrants to Israel are engineers, doctors, artists, and other professionals. Such people surely would have an opportunity to help build the new Russia.On grounds of both humanitarian need and US security interests, loan guarantees to the Soviet Union may well be more important than those to Israel. It seems clear that the vitality and survival of Israel will be best served by obtaining peace with its neighbors, thus freeing it to pursue economic growth and independence, and not by a spoiled and stultifying dependence on the United States. America should not allow itself to be deterred from this clear vision. Robert DeLong, Chapel Hill, N.C.

On a recent visit to Russia, my husband and I met a wonderful couple in St. Petersburg who invited us home, fed us, and talked freely for hours about the situation there. I asked Marinna if she was afraid of going hungry this winter. She said no, her real fear was that her 12-year-old son Dima would be beaten to death. One little Jewish boy in St. Petersburg is in the hospital right now with a concussion from a beating. Everyone predicts more violence this winter as food and fuel run out. Russian Jews are scared. President Bush is dead wrong to use refugees as pawns in negotiations with the Arabs. Karin McQuillan, Cambridge, Mass.

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