Back to PLO Bulletin 1 November 1978


Zionism as a racist movement has been internationally condemned. Discrimination between Western and Eastern Jews in the Zionist state has become widely known. Atrocities committed or suggested by World Zionist Organization agents against Jewish communities in the 1940's, in Europe and some Arab countries, mainly Iraq, have already, even in the Zionist state itself, been widely detailed. Believers in the Zionist legend of the "Promised Land" who leave their homelands like for example the USSR, sometimes get information about the true nature of the Zionist state and have the chance to make up their minds to choose another direction before falling into the "trap" of this state. However, those unlucky ones who insisted on putting their fingers into the fire to find out whether it really burns, would find it very difficult, or probably even impossible, to escape.

Annulled Israeli Identity

Two of those who had the good fortune to escape, the twin brothers Leonid and Arkady Weinman, came to the PLO to report about their experiences, and on 26 October 1978 they held a press conference in Beirut. Following are some of their experiences they reported to us:

"We left the Soviet Union because, as Jews, we were led by Zionist propaganda into believing that Israel is our homeland. But, from our first day of arrival, 9 August 1976, we were faced with problems and difficulties of daily life there. At the airport we were received with open arms as 'Heroes of Zion'. Official personalities, pressmen, TV correspondents and cameramen were there. After that we were sent to Toul Shilva Hotel - in Tel Aviv - which was worse than a prison. The next day, a car came and drove us to the Rokhlama Kibbutz near Beir Saba.


"From the first moment the ment there began to ask us: 'Where are your clothes? What did you bring with you?' Jewish workers there receive IL 100 monthly and are offered only the main meal and a cup of coffee daily. Also they are offered old clothes. Life in the Soviet kolkhoz is one hundred times better, for it is usually supplied with everything you want, and life there is considered better than life in the city and more quiet. What makes matters worse in the Kibbutz, are the practices of the officials. They take most of the money and assistance to the Kibbutz for their own. They are very fanatical. Any word of criticism against Zionism or Israel might lead one to lose his life. We are, simply, Jews. We did not know the meaning of Zionism or its principles."

The Weinman brothers could not agree with life in the Kibbutz, so they left it to look for their parents and some friends and relatives.

"We met many Soviet Jews and got much information from them. They have the same opinion about the situation and life there as we do. But they cannot make any criticism. A famous incident happened in 1975. There was a Jewish agency which used to facilitate the emigration of Soviet Jews to the United States. This did not please the Zionist movement. It began to increase pressure on the Jews, wherever they are, to emigrate to Israel only. Then about a hundred educated Soviet Jews, who occupy various jobs and high posts in Israel, called for a demonstration to stress the principles of democracy and the right of every Jew to emigrate wherever he wants.

PLO press conference
At Press Conference in Beirut

"Zionist intelligence service dismissed them from their jobs and cut off all the financial assistance and the privileges they used to have. They could not resist and were forced to surrender and keep their mouths shut about their democratic demands. Only then did the Israeli government and intelligence allow them to return to their jobs on condition that they forget all that they had said, in other words, to keep their mouths shut. Indeed, many of the Soviet Jews are weeping and wish they could get back home.

"These people we met, fully explained to us the treatment of Zionism and life in Israel. They advised us not to criticize Zionism or confront it, but seek for any devious ways and means so as to escape from Israel. Even the so-called 'human' societies with UN connections in Israel consider the struggle of Jews against Zionism illegal, claiming that Israel is the most 'democratic' country in the world. Many persons, therefore, have realized that struggle against Zionism from inside is difficult and so resorted to silence.

"We met Begin when he was in the opposition. Also we met members of the Liberal Pary. We found them all false Jews, very fanatic about Zionism. An ordinary Jew wants a peaceful quiet life, but the Zionist plans we knew in Israel are plans of expansion and killing. We found ourselves unable to live with these principles. In fact, this is what the majority of the Jews feel.


"When a immigrant arrives in Israel, as we learnt and experienced, he is struck by the scale of nationalist and racial fanaticism. Jews are described as the best, most pure and intelligent race. They, only, deserve life because they are the elite. Further, you find distinctions among Jews themselves: Western and Oriental Jews, 'black' and 'white' Jews, last of all you find the Arab Jews who are treated by Zionists as 'dogs'."

After this description by both twin brothers, Leonid said that "after we had left the Rokhama Kibbutz, we were taken to 'Olban Otsi Oul' in Jerusalem, so as to learn the Hebrew language. The officials in this center are agents of the Israeli intelligence, the Shin Beth. The director of the center, Jeania Ghilat, has close contacts with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, mainly the information section by which she is directed. Don't wonder about how we got this informations. We were considered by the Zionist officials as 'easy prey', so that they might use us as tools for their propaganda, mainly against the Soviet Union.

"After spending 25 days in Olban Otsi Oul, we realized that Israel is not the state we can live in. We were refused any job without going through political channels. We were not considered as Israeli citizens though we were given identification to show that we were.


"Israeli intelligence actively tried to keep us quiet and to prevent us from exposing the crimes of the Zionist state which we witnessed throughout our stay in the 'Promised Land'. The big 'Mafia' politicians in turn began to offer us various propositions, but to no avail. When these also failed, the Israeli authorities began using all sorts of arbitrary practices to make us submit to their demands. Having tried all possible means, they left us 'in the street'. Meanwhile, we were receiving assistance from some relatives and friends."


Leonid said that he had document concerning an Israeli law which forces Jews to serve in the Israeli army even though they had not yet received Israeli citizenship or residence in Israel. He hinted that this law is not known yet in Europe; when it is known, he said, it will expose the assumed 'democracy' of Israel. As an example, Leonid mentioned the following incident. He said:

"An American Jew went to Poland to get a visa from the Israeli embassy there, so as to visit his mother who lives in Israel. But on the first day of his arrival, he was called up for compulsory service in the army. He refused and appealed to the military court showing a photocopy of his visitor's visa. The military court rejected his appeal and judged that being a Jew he had to serve in the army. This incident has become an unwritten law in Israel and applicable to any Jew visiting the country, even though he might not have received Israeli citizenship or permanent or temporary residence there."


Concerning their own case, Leonid said that Israeli medical authorities gave them reports attesting their disability to serve in the army for health reasons. However, the authorities refused to excuse them officially from service in the army so as to prevent them from leaving the country. They spent two years till they were able to get that exemption.

The Weinman brothers said that they then went to the US consulate in Tel Aviv demanding visas, "but Israeli intelligence intervened in the case and allowed us to leave only to Greece. We went to the American embassy there and filled applications for immigrant visas. But Israeli intelligence were also following us. They put us in a dark room, beat us, and took us back to Israel. Again, we left Israel, but to Turkey this time. Once, while we were having lunch at a restaurant there, we ordered a light drink. The quantity we drank was so little. We did not know what had happened then. All that we knew was that we found ourselves in our hotel with our Laissez-passers and money stolen. We are sure that Israeli intelligence had done that so as to force us to go back to Israel. We went to the Turkish political police to help us. But they put us in prison. There, we met a Palestinian. He talked to us and we know that he is very different from the image of the Palestinians we were shown by the Zionists. The discussion with him made us change our minds concerning the Palestinian people and cause."

Palestine - PLO information bulletin has been archived online as a project of New Jersey Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine.

Originally published by The Palestine Liberation Organisation Unified Information as a bi-monthly information bulletin with copy permission granted via the notice "Partial or total reproduction is freely permitted by 'Palestine Bulletin'"

Contact us: New Jersey Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
(973) 954-2521

New Jersey Solidarity
344 Grove Street, Suite 131
Jersey City, NJ 07302