One of the oddest cases of Jews trying to settle in Israel is that of Naum Alshansky of Minsk. together with his wife, Clara, Naum recently wrote to Meir Vilner, the leader of Israel’s Moscow-oriented Communist party, Rakah. They firmly declared themselves to be Marxist-Leninists and requested membership of Rakah so that they could continue their work in the international Communist movement upon reaching Israel.
Naum Alshansky who now works repairing telephones, joined the Soviet Communist party in 1943 when fighting as a soldier in the Red Army. and is still a Lt. colonel in the reserves.Now 56, he was expelled from the party last September soon after applying to go to Israel. His wife, Clara, is a doctor and was secreary of the Communist party organisation in the clinic where she worked before she too was expelled from the party.
Alshansky has expressed an unusual viewpoint in numerous other letters which he has signed. he recently replied to charges made by Boris Shumilin, the Deputy Minister of the Interior, in an interview to the Novosti press agency three months ago. Shumilin had stated that many of those who wished to emigrate to Israel were being guided ‘by mercenary private property interests’.
Alshansky commented: ‘It is not to get rich that i wish to go to Israel but to fight against a social injustice, for progress and a stable peace in the Middle East’ – a sentiment often expressed by young radical zionists in the west today and which recalls the ideals of the second aliyah which also came mainly from Russia.
Alshansky’s case has aroused interest in leftist circles in London who are not normally sympathetic to Israel or Zionism. For the Soviet authorities, it must create numerous ideological headaches.
Jewish Observer 30 June 1972