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Jewish Emigres

August 07, 1988

As an affirmative Jew having one daughter a permanent resident of Israel with dual citizenship, I became stunned and mortified by The Times story (Metro, July 22) describing the recent announcement of the Israeli government that all future Jews released by the Soviet Union will now be forcefully channeled to Israel. Explanation--Israel declares it needs the immigration.

Once a proud sovereignty boasting about its concern for human rights, Israel now not only casually violates such basic human rights, but some of the most fundamental tenets of Judaism.

Hundreds of years celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt, the Passover Haggadah expounds that when a slave becomes freed, he achieves the high status of a totally free man, second to none. But these former Russian-Jewish refuseniks are denied freedom of choice and freedom of movement, forced to go to a country they prefer not to go to, to satisfy the peculiar needs of that country. So now we have a sophisticated slave country where Israeli leaders bestow second-class status to fellow Jews.

It's like freeing the black slaves of this country, and Lincoln and others telling them to stay in the South because in that area we need cotton-pickers. And then the white supremacists saying to them if they don't like the way we treat them here, they should go back to Africa.

My own father left his family and illegally slipped out of Russia to avoid the "slavery" of a Ukranian Jewish shtetl . This was his courageous move as a 15 year old when he sought out the promised land of our country. Suddenly today's Jews are denied that freedom. Shame on the new tyrant--Israel--who denies liberty to its own people. It's a shanda (shame)!

NORMAN H. GOTTLIEB

Long Beach

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