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Gorbachev Is 'Real,' Emigre Goldfarb Says

October 19, 1987|United Press International

MOSCOW — Former Soviet refusenik Alex Goldfarb, ending a weeklong visit to his homeland after 12 years in the United States, said today he believes Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev "is a real, genuine phenomenon."

After meeting with dissidents and supporters of the communist system, Goldfarb also said many Jews--for the first time since the 1920s--believe organized Jewish life is possible again in the Soviet Union.

In addition, Goldfarb, an assistant professor and microbiologist at Columbia University, said he is changing his mind about opposing East-West scientific cooperation.

Goldfarb, 40, left Moscow today and planned a stopover in West Germany before returning to New York on Tuesday. He said he traveled to the Soviet Union on an Israeli passport to test Gorbachev's much vaunted glasnost, or openness, reform program.

"I have met with a very broad spectrum of the Moscow intelligentsia, from dissidents to Establishment figures," Goldfarb said. "I got a sense of what is going on here. The sense is Gorbachev is a real, genuine phenomenon."

Referring to a rallying cry of former Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung, Goldfarb said even though the Soviet Union is still a police state, he believes Gorbachev's reform policies "are not simply a ploy to let 100 flowers blossom and then to cut them off again."

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