“Let My People Go”: The Beginnings of Israel’s Operation to Open Soviet Immigration Gates

In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
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  • 1 Head of Eurasia Department, Eurasia Department, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 2 Professor, Department of Israeli Heritage, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel

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Abstract

This article deals with the fate of Soviet Jewry during the period between Stalin’s death and the outbreak of the Sinai War (1956). It focuses on the attitudes of Israeli government circles, and their actions oriented towards opening Soviet immigration to Israel (Aliyah) gates. The goal of Aliyah stood high on the agenda of Israeli decision makers. Nevertheless, until the end of 1955, its treatment was quite limited. We describe the chain of events that transformed this situation. The article is based largely on documents from Israeli and Soviet archives, including many that have not yet been published. We also use Nativ organization documents, which are shown here for the first time.

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