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‘Nobody Knew He Was an Agent for the Israelis’

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The story of the struggle to save Soviet Jewry is full of drama, with mass protests and celebrity appearances (including Jane Fonda) on the American side, and secret gatherings, long prison sentences, and attempted hijackings on the other side. In a new book, When They Come for Us, We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry, Gal Beckerman reviews all that history, and throws some other remarkable stories into the mix, including the essential, yet top-secret, role the Israeli government played in fomenting a movement stateside in the 1960s.

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“Whats all this nonsense about Soviet Jewelry?” Rose Ann Rosannadanna
Life sucked in the USSR. For once, being Jewish was a perk! A ticket to ride! Now, the older Soviet immigrants and their children still remain Russian. I bet a large percentage of the original immigrants had maybe 1/4 Jewish ancestry. And many may well have “crossed” their fingers when asked.
I was all around Israel this past summer. There were two cities that stuck out like sore thumbs to me. Afula, and Be’er Sheba. Afula, is a strange apparition of Soviet-like apartment buildings rising out of a green agricultural region. The population looked Russian, and not like the “Russian” Jews of America, who came speaking Yiddish, from beyond the pale of Russia Proper. Cyrillic lettered signs and shoddy looking stores. I felt like I made a wrong turn and wound up in Leningrad! (The bad side of town.)
And Be’er Sheba: Russian speaking women with bleached or natural light blonde hair, Slavic cheek bones and eyes, in full make up, wearing what otherwise would be normal in a night club, with heels like spikes, that they wore as naturally as I do sneakers, strutted to work in the morning. Round headed men with blonde-white crew cuts, protruding from muscle shirts, smoked cigarettes, and looked tough. In Israel it was only in Be’er Sheba that I saw anyone stumbling drunk. Like Afula, signs in Cyrillic. I wonder how loyal these folks will be to Jewish Israel? They seemed no more Jewish then did the Bedouins with whom they shared the city. .

Dani Levi says:

Brian!
Be’er Sheba, capitol of the Negev. Home of the camel-toe.

“Gal Beckerman reviews all that history, and throws some other remarkable stories into the mix, including the essential, yet top-secret, role the Israeli government played in fomenting a movement stateside in the 1960s.”

Is that it? A minute interview without follow up questions and we are supposed to take this as something that actually happened.

Does Beckman really think that one supposed agent told Jewish intellectuals what to think about the plight of Soviet Jewry?

What about Elie Wiesel’s book “The Jews of Silence” though it was published in 1966 Wiesel had traveled to the Soviet Union and wrote a report about conditions there. He certainly was not taken in by any single article.

Beckman’s theory is the leftist version of the Jews “are responsible for 9/11″

Great article. I commitment certainly dividend this article with my friends. Thanks as a service to the info.

Lois McMaster Bujold~ Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.

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‘Nobody Knew He Was an Agent for the Israelis’

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