PLO Stymied by Russian Wave

Lily Galili
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Lily Galili

Recently published classified documents from the Soviet-era reveal that, in the late 1970s and 1980s, the Palestine Liberation Organization leadership suspected that Soviet Jewish immigration to Israel would make it harder for them to gain control of all Israeli territory.

On the basis of this fear, they approached the Communist politburo with a request to cease Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union to Israel.

Researchers following developments during this period estimate that the inability of the Soviet authorities to block the wave of immigration to Israel was one of the most important factors that led the PLO to accept the idea of the two-state solution in 1988.

The documents, discovered in the PLO archive during the first Lebanon War and later cross-referenced with Soviet papers, are cited in a new book on Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union by Boris Morozov of Tel Aviv University. ()

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