How we traveled to Israel

From INFO-RUSS-request@smarty.ece.jhu.edu Wed Jun 10 22:33:02 1992
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From: Artjom Sokirko <artjom@theophys.kth.se>
To: info-russ@smarty.ece.jhu.edu

Dear friends,

I am really sorry for rough breaking of the network's rule to send not more than two kb at once. But, as it seems to me, the following story, written by my wife, although written rather disorderly, is devoted to a very important problem - what does the country of Israel itself to increase the number of anti-semites in the world. I will be very grateful to our co-ordinator if he allows to this article to appear in the INFRORUSS and I promiss never again break any rules (size of file, starting discussion etc.)

Artjom Sokirko


___________________________________________________________ Royal Institute of Technology | Department of Hydromechanics | artjom@hydro.kth.se Osqars Backe 33 | fax : 46 - 8 - 723 04 75 S-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden | tel.: 46 - 8 - 790 63 14 ___________________________________________________________

I would like to just to tell you a story about my visit to Israeli embassy in Stockholm. I understand, that after reading this story a lot of people will convict me in anti-semitism. Please, note that I am Jewish.

So, me and my husband decided to go to Israel at the end of August.

We both wanted to see Israel and to visit a lot of our friends, who emigrated there during last four years. Also my husband had an invitation to the conference, taking place in Israel at the same time. We understood, that as far as we ar not citizens of US or any West European country, we have to get Israeli visa. So we went to the embassy I should say a couple of words about our documents. My husband has Soviet passport (now Russian, because issued in Moscow), and he already works in Stockholm for a year, and his contract has been recently proved for the next year. I have Soviet passport (now Ukrainian, because issued in Kiev) and American "Refugee Travel Document" (because me and my parents immigrated last November from USSR to USA). The last one (as well as the stamp in my Soviet passport) certifies, that I am allowed to live in America for unlimited time. From March I live here in Stockholm and I am already accepted to the doctoral program from September. Sorry for such a long description, but further you will see that it was really necessary.

Yesterday we came to the embassy. The police officer said us, that we have first press the button on the door and speak to the representative of the consulate. The latter asked us what do we need and then about our nationalities. Well, may be that is because people of some nationalities can go without visa. Than we were allowed to come in and to go to the fourth floor. There we saw the next door with the same device for speaking (without seeing the person). The voice from the device asked us again what do we need and what kind of documents do we have. I still do not understand why it was so important to ask it keeping us out of the door. May be, because there was a camera, which showed to the officer everything we did. May be, they wanted to check that we do not do anything wrong. Well, than we were let to come in. We appeared in the room of the area of approximately four square metres. Both doors (one which we just used and one from the opposite side) were locked. We saw the clerk's window, covered with amazingly thick piece of bullet-proof glass (if we would like to shoot him) with hardly seen slit, just enough for the passport to go through. I already felt myself terrorist. We gave our documents - Russian passport of my husband and my travel document. Clerk looked at them for several minutes, and then asked me were is my Swedish visa. I gave my passport, because I received my Swedish visa still being in Moscow. Then the clerk asked me consequently some questions:

He: Why did you get this American document?

I: Because I was allowed to immigrate to USA.

He: No, I mean did you receive it in USA?

I: Yes.

He: What for do you go to Israel?

I: For tourism.

He: Have you ever been in Israel before?

I: No.

He: Do you have relatives in Israel?

I: Yes, but not close ones. Just second cousines.

He: Do you have contacts with them?

I: No.

He: Do you have contacts with the Jewish community in Stockholm?

I: Not yet.

He: Not yet? When did you arrived to Stockholm?

I: In March.

Here I have to tell, why nobody asked me if I am Jewish or not. As usual, I was with the "mogem Dovid" (the star of David) on my neck.

Now I have a question: how could my contacts with the Jewish community affect getting of our visas? If issuing of visa depends on my religious activity, it is more than strange. If they just wanted somebody from community or rabbi to be my reference - it is also rather strange, that they need such a thing to give me just a tourist visa for two weeks. Please, try to imagine that you are, for example, Brazilian resident of Italian origin. And when you come to Italian embassy they ask you, if you have contacts with Italian community. Impossible!

A minute later:

He: What company will you use to get to Israel?

I: Sorry, I don't now.

He: What? You don't now the name of the company?

I: Why should I know it definitely? I will go to to Israel from New York, where I will visit my parents during July. My husband will go to Israel most probably via Copenhagen by ISSTA (Israeli company), but may be it will be possible for him to go there straightly from USSR by ship.

He looked very surprised. He never thought that people with such passports can be not sure were will they be in two month, even if it is summer and even if they work abroad.

At least he asked the last question, which I don't understand even now:

- Do you have in your bags any things that you have to give to somebody? Or it is all yours?

I was so surprised, that I understood the question only when he repeated it for three times. We had no big bags, just usual ones. To give to somebody where? In the embassy? Or three hours later in the City? May be he wanted to know, if we have anything metallic? Then there are usual devices for checking it.

After we said "no", we were allowed to go inside the next door, which also was immediately locked after we came in. Information for those, who have forgot: we are not in Arabic country, we are even not in a socialist country. We are in a very quiet, not anti-semitic Northern country Sweden.

Then the next clerk looked at our passports and gave us applications forms. We filled them in, and then came back to that clerk. Here we heard something even more interesting, than all previous.

First she (the clerk) saw, that we didn't fill the column "address in Israel". She said that embassy is to be sure that we have where to stay. Well, we had addresses of our friends. But what should I do if I am going to come to Israel, rent a car and then travel by car? Or use campings? Then I can't give any address, even hotel's one.

After that she said, that we should show our tickets to Israel before they will give us visas. So, as I understood, it is a very hard questions "to give or not to give" visa, and may be they will not give them to us, but, nevertheless, we should bye tickets and show them in the embassy. The only question is who will pay for the tickets if they will not give us visa? As all students (me) and postdocs (my husband), we don't have too much money, and usually we buy nonrefundable tickets. Also, may be they think, that I am trying to get visa just for having fun? And then I will throw it away or try to go to Israel without tickets?

Then we were told, that they will do visas for five weeks, because they have to send our documents to Israel. Great! The embassy is not allowed to decide questions about tourist visas. This question requires some special decisions, which can be made in Israel only.

And now the culmination of the story. She looked once more at our passports and said: "Actually, they probably will not give you visas. Your Swedish visa is valid only till the first of September. In order to go to Israel you are to have Swedish visa valid at least half a year after your returning back. And we can not even accept your application form before you will get such a permission." We showed stamps in our passports, certifying that we already applied for Swedish visas for the next year. The previous contract was for one year, and my husband had to get the next one to prolong visa. In Sweden such stamp is equal to visa. You can work with it, go to any organizations and everybody has no doubts that you will get new visa, and when your old visa finishes, you get the new one instead of this stamp. But she said, that nobody knows, will Sweden give us new visa or not. May be in Israel contract and studying in the University is not enough to prolong visa, but I still didn't see any person in Sweden who would not be sure that it is enough. In Moscow I obtained Swedish residence visa for a year in an hour: I spent near ten minutes in the queue, then I filled in the application form, showed to the clerk my husband's contract, and three hours later I came back and picked up my passport with visa. And that is it!

Anyway, I showed to that lady my American travel document, and explained what it means. I thought, that USA can be considered equal to Sweden in this case. No, it was found that with this document only Israeli embassy in USA can issue my visa. So, I can do it only in USA, because new Swedish visa will be ready only in August, and Israeli visa will be ready only in the end of September. It is too late for summer holidays. Well, it is not difficult, because I was going to spend July in New York. But my husband has to get his visa in Israeli embassy in Moscow, where there is usually a huge crowd of people who want to immigrate to Israel, while he could do it quietly in Sweden. And who can guarantee, that Israeli embassy in Moscow will not demand to show the permission from "OVIR" to go to Israel, while my husband has only permission to go to Sweden? May be they also do not understand that one can go to Israel via any other countries?

Then we showed her the invitation to the conference. It also didn't work, because (as she told me) we still need the above said permission. She also tried to explain me that all countries demand such things. It means, that if I would like to go to any other country, it will be impossible without that permission. At least her last statement was not true, because my husband has got a month ago Danish visa during ten minutes and German visa during eight days. Also a lot of our friends obtained different visas being in two weeks business trips and so on, my aim is not to convict people, who work in the embassy. They have no choice, they just have to follow existing rules. I just wanted to describe all that. Now, what follows from all above said:

1) The person, who is not citizen of US, Canada or any West European country, being abroad for several month IN PRINCIPLE can not go to Israel, even if he is invited for the conference.

2) I can understand, when a country like USA is doing such a things (although I do not like it): a lot of people want to immigrate there, there are a huge amount of not registered immigrants and so on. But Israel is in absolutely another situation. I could immigrate to Israel without any problem straightly from USSR, because Israel accepts all Jews. But the majority of people were staying upside down wishing immigrate exactly to USA. I already did it. Why do they think that now I will try to stay in Israel? I have no other explanation for the request of the above said residence permit in Sweden.

3) And the most important thing. Imagine the person, who is citizen of, for example, India or Mexico, who studies or works in Sweden, and who does not know a lot about Jews. But he heard that Israel is a very interesting country and he decided to go there and look. He comes to this embassy. What should he feel, when he will leave this embassy, even if he received visa? He will, most probably, think, that Jews are crazy people, who live in the normal country as during the war, and absolutely do not want anybody to see their country. My only consolation is that Swedish citizens can go to Israel without visa and, hence, they will not see all that.

Asya Makhlina, dept. of theoretical physics, Technical Institute, Stockholm. (please, reply on guest1h@theophys.kth.se)

=======================================================

From youssin@math.mit.edu Thu Jun 11 01:10:52 1992

Dear Asya,

I want to make some comments on your frustrating letter. Although I do not want to justify what they did to you, but you are correct that they were just applying the rules. The reasons for the rules, I think, were as follows (again, I am not saying the rules are correct, I am just trying to explain their reasons):

--security measures (talking to a person whom you do not see etc): these are standard in all Israeli embassies, and the reason is that there are terrorist acts against the embasies, and they do not know you. They never ask directly if you are Jewish (this is racist and offensive), but do it in an indirect way, by asking about your relatives. If you claim you have, they ask where they live, and this way they determine if you are telling the truth, and if your relatives are Jewish as opposed to Arabs (Jews and Arabs live mostly in different areas in Israel). (There have been no anti-Israeli terrorists this far who were Jewish; there were Jewish anti-Arab terrorists in Israel but you would not uncover them that easily anyway, and they would not attack an embassy.) If you are not Jewish they will be more careful in determining your reasons for coming in and wishing to go to Israel. The only rational explanation I have for this, is that this way they can get rid of all the crazy terrorists (and make it a little bit more difficult for the professionals) and the crazy ones are a majority.

--they clearly tried to avoid giving you visas, I think, for two reasons: ----one is that you were residents of Sweden with temporary visas and citizens of countries (former SU) from which there are many attempts of illegal immigration. (I am talking about non-Jews from former SU trying to get tourist visas to Israel and work there illegally -- there are many cases like that now.) I have to tell you that if you tried to get American visas with the same documents, you may have got even rougher treatment. A friend of mine was just denied a US visa in Germany to go to a Math Inst at Berkeley although he just came there from the US. I myself got similar treatment in 1984-85 when I traveled with Soviet passport in Europe before I got my refugee status in the US.

----the other is that you did not fall into any standard categories of tourists. Their approach is that you should fall into one of the standard categories of tourists. One is Jews, they often stay by friends or relatives, study, travel around etc. The other category is regular (Jewish or not) tourists who have money to travel and usually get hotel reservations in advance. There are, of course, citizens of the Western countries who do not need visas, and they are subject to questioning when they arrive to Israel, and those who do not have either relatives, or friends, or hotel reservations, may be sent back. (In comparison, my friend who came to New York in May with Israeli passport to get an honorary doctorate, was not let into the US until he gave them the address of the friends by whom he was going to stay.) One may question the wisdom of this, but this kind of categorization is used, in some form, by most Western countries. Your luck with Germany and Denmark was pleasanly surprising; they probably decided that if Sweden let you in, they did not have anything to be afraid of -- and maybe it was some Europian agreement (I would be really surprised if you got French visas that easily). This categorization hurts badly lots of people. For example, it used to be (and maybe still is) difficult to get a US visa in Sweden during the summer for a young person because many Swedes wanted to go to the US after graduating from high school. However, I do not feel I have a right to criticize the people who make this rules; it does not seem to me easy to make better rules myself. I felt a great relief each time my documents became better.

For the practical purposes, I think, you could ask the organizers of the conference in Israel to arrange for your visa, it should not be to hard for them. If not, you can try friends, but it will take more of their effort. The rational for this is not "blat" but the fact that this way you establish yourselves as people who are known to someone, as opposed to members of the most undesirable (statistically) category determined by formal reasons. (This approach works in all countries except USA.)

I hope that my explanations were, at least, of some help. Let me know if I can do anything else.

Best wishes ----Boris Youssin

youssin@math.mit.edu

====================================================================================

From OLGA@WURST.wustl.edu Thu Jun 11 02:04:04 1992

Asja , zdravstvuy! menya zovut Olya Leyzerovich i my kagetsya byli znakomy kogda-to v kerosinke (ya AI-85, ty AM-86, esli ya ne oshibayus'). Ochen' priyatno poluchat' takie neogidannye "kerosinovye" vestochki, dage esli oni na stol' nevesyoluyu temu kak "eti kozly v posol'stve"... zdes' mne toge rasskazyvali pro poluchenie vizy po refugee travel, neposredstvenno iz Ameriki , s toy ge tupoy ideey pro "polgoda posle"...zato oni tam v les hodyat, a my zdes' (v chastnosti v nashem St Louise) tol'ko oblizyvaemsya...no eto tak, krik dushi...

Kak ona vam, Shvetsiya, est' li tam escho kto-nibud' ili vy "pervye i poslednie mogikane"? Tyagelo li bylo postupit' v Univer- moya podruga stradala etim v Anglii, no bezuspeshno... Moget , nado bylo v Shvetsiyu... V obschem napishi, esli est' vremya i ne len'... Salyut. Olya

====================================================================================

From: jbk@smarty.ece.jhu.edu (Jacob Khurgin)

Few observations regarding the recently posted extensive tear-jerking account of the trials and tribulations of the Russian-Jewish-Ukranian-Swedish-American-Theoretical-Physicist Couple in the dungeons and dark chambers of the Israeli Consulate in Sweden and the injustice suffered by them at the hands of cruel bureaucrats.

I do not even dream of accusing the true citizen of the world, the permanent refugee Ms. Asya Makhlin of antisemitism (maybe of ignorance). On the contrary , her letter may in fact convince me to become the antisemite myself, since the mode of her behaviour fits perfectly well into the stereotype of the PUSHY JEW that had been disseminated around the world by all kinds of antisemites for ages.

Yet I will try, despite all the evidence not to succumb to the stereotyping and try to make few observations. The questioning of all the travelers to Israel about their luggage and where they are going to stay, and are they connect with the Jewish community is done routinely.

Few years back, it is this vigilance that prevented the Syrian terrorist who had given a bag with explosive to his girlfriend in the Heathrow airport to pass it to his family in Israel , from blowing the El AL plane in the air. It is the lack of this vigilance that resulted in the tragedy of PanAm 107 over Locherbee.

Talking about security measures in the nice jolly old Sweden where nothing ever happens (Remember Prime Minister Palme? Remember that there are over 1 million Arabs living in Scandinavia, and pardon me, they are also Semites, and have enough brains to wear the Star of David when necessary rather than medallion with Yasser Arafat's face), I would like to mention the even lovelier Republic of Argentina, where all they do is drink coffee and dance tango. Well, they have blown up the Israely embassy in Buenos-Aires all right!

Regarding the Refugee travel document, I used to travel with it, and in many places, like France, they look at it as "The ram looks at a new gate". Which is easy to understand, since in the many parts of the world mentioning the word "refugee" brings the image of the downtrodden and hungry masses overcrowding the boats and yearning for the shelter (Haitians, Indo-Chinese Boat People etc.) So it is extremely difficult to reconcile it with the image of the arrogant tourists spinning around the world often visiting the country where they ostensibly had been recently prosecuted.

Finally, for God sake, please, remove your Star of David, or at list do not demonstrate it as the badge of honor or as a little red book that can get your into the butcher shop ahead of the line.

This is not your little Komsomol pin. It is really not obligatory to wear it around town if you do not want to. An it is not compulsory to belong to "local primary Jewish organization" . It is not mandatory to do it in US, Sweden, and, here comes the real shocker, not even in Israel!

Still-not-anti-Semite J. Khurgin, the Johns Hopkins University.

====================================================================================

Date: Wed, 10 Jun 92 21:09:02 EDT
From: ilya goldovt <IUGX@CORNELLC.cit.cornell.edu>

So many bites for Asya story...

Asya,your "story" reminds me the other "story" : we should be very polite and , of course , very quiet. Then , may be (may be not) , the world would like us. About your comfort ... .Well , don't be very upset. The reason is not in state of ISRAEL, but it's inside us. To be exact, it's inside you,Asya.

Ilya.

====================================================================================

From: raskin@j.cc.purdue.edu (Victor Raskin)
Subject: INFO-RUSS: Anti-semites and Semites Date: Wed, 10 Jun 92 21:10:33 EST

Jacob Khurgin writes:

Few observations regarding the recently posted extensive tear-jerking account of the trials and tribulations of the Russian-Jewish-Ukranian-Swedish-American-Theoretical-Physicist Couple in the dungeons and dark chambers of the Israeli Consulate in Sweden and the injustice suffered by them

Bravo, Jacob! You answered all the questions the poster had asked and not asked. I am, however, atypically coming on the soft side--it is definitely naivete, not malevolence on her part. It is very hard to get rid of the Soviet mentality for quite some time, and this mentality often renders one infantile, i.e., unable to figure out the other people's situation and reasons for their behavior. And the current generation of reasonably young former Soviets is much firther removed from life and death situations than we in the West and especially the Israelis. So the acute interest of the Israeli bureacrats in the Consulate in their physical survival and the survival of their fellow countrymen back in Israel leaves our casual visitors cold. I did, however, notice that many Soviet Jewish emigres and transients, who are not settling in Israel, seem to look for excuses to hate it. This is also childish but rather prevalent. My wife and I lived in Israel for 5 years in the 1970s and then had to leave with a very heavy heart (meaning: we dod not want to leave but had to). We saw many things in and about Israel to complain about--serious things, not the kind of nonsense from the Swedish report--but we are convinced that those Jews to whom it is not given to come to love Israel and Israelis as one does one's less than perfect spouse or children, are doomed for an impoversihed life, devoid of true Jewish content (and I am talking secular, not necessarily religious content). I pity such people--not look down upon them, nor despise them (they are not to blame--the Soviet life is incompatible with love for anything spiritual), but pity them. Reports like Asya's are minor consequences of these larger problems. Good luck to Asya and others!

Victor Raskin
raskin@j.cc.purdue.edu Professor of English and Linguistics
(317) 494-3782
Chair, Interdepartmental Program in Linguistics 494-3780 fax
Coordinator, Natural Language Processing Laboratory
Purdue University
W. Lafayette, IN 47907 U.S.A.

==================================================================================== From lebedev@dxl303.cern.ch Thu Jun 11 07:55:56 1992

In-Reply-To: Your message of "Wed, 10 Jun 92 18:18:51 EDT."

Hi, Artjom!

I read you sad story and am surprised. Did you ever deal with the bureaucrasy in xSu? How did you manage to go out of it? Are you a KGB agent?

In contrary to you I am anti-semit, but my wife is Jewish and she just returned from her 2-weeks visit to Israel. To get her there I spent about 10 mins in the travelling company office (Coock-company, if you like, but Wagon Lit is its Swiss name) - remember the question about the company to get to Israel asked in the embassy. This Wagon Lit company gave me to fill the application form, took the passport of my wife and in one month I got the passport back with the proper visa. It costed me only 20SF, but the Israelian embassy and consulate are about 120 km away from here. By the way, when my wife boarded the plane to go back from Tel-Aviv she was asked exactly the same questions - who packed your luggage, are there some things you will pass to somebody else, etc.

Special attention was devoted to the gifts presented to my wife by her friends - all were unpacked and thoroughly checked. May be the clerk from your story served in the airport before?

With the best regards to you and your wife -- Alexei.

====================================================================================

From: raskin@j.cc.purdue.edu (Victor Raskin)
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 92 23:59:22 EST

Apologies to everybody for the typos in my previous message--none of them sense-changing, fortunately--but especially for the signature below repeated thrice. My mailer has a quarrel with the Johns Hopkins mailer, and the message was recirculated twice. Sorry about the waste of bandwidth. Victor Raskin
raskin@j.cc.purdue.edu Professor of English and Linguistics
(317) 494-3782
Chair, Interdepartmental Program in Linguistics 494-3780 fax
Coordinator, Natural Language Processing Laboratory
Purdue University
W. Lafayette, IN 47907 U.S.A.

==================================================================================== From muh@physics.berkeley.edu Thu Jun 11 10:24:23 1992

Subject: Visa

As one of my friends (who emigrated from USSR to Israel and from Israel to USA) put it (it was before last August): "When USSR will collapse there will be 2 socialistic countries: Cuba and Israel". That I call profet!

==================================================================================== From ivrii@orphee.polytechnique.fr Thu Jun 11 10:30:18 1992

Subject: Your adventures

COMMENTS.

Your story seems to me rather strange because in Israeli Embassy in Paris the security measures seemed to be one year ago really lame. Don't be very irritated. Their questions are really linked with security. They really asked you for recommendation. There is a lot of embassies which asks their central departments (in order to check some archives and your background). Blame your passport (I have the same).

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO?

Ask the organizers of the conference to get your and your wife visas in the Interior Affairs Ministry and send them to Stockholm. It is the best way. But it is not very quick also especially if you are going the first time. Ask them to fax the copies to you (it is helpful in Embassy because they it helps to find visas). It is my own experience.

And try to provide recommendations.

==================================================================================== From: Grisha Falkovich <FNFAL@WEIZMANN.WEIZMANN.AC.IL>

Subject: INFO-RUSS: Few lines about Israel

I red the letter of Victor Raskin with a great pleasure though I would like to defend a bit my young colleague Asya. Victor! Do you have some doubts that Asya as well as you and me could love such kind of spiritual thing? I don't.

The only problem is to recognize that all those crazy Israeli have something to do with that spiritual phenomenon.

It is necessary to be a mature person to understand that even those strange (for Asya) questions at Embassy have something in common with all that things written in different excellent books about destiny and fate, people and God etc. So I hope that Asya will visit Israel and enjoy it and understand that for a Jew, a conflict with Israel is that with himself (herself).

Good luck, Asya

Gregory Falkovich
Assist. Prof.
Dept. of Physics.
Weizmann Institute of Science

==================================================================================== From: SASHA@MAXC.TECHNION.AC.IL

Subject: INFO-RUSS: Asya story: comments from inside

Hello,

Just few comments about the Asya story.

It is rather difficult to realize the situation in Israel for those living outside the HolyLand. Being in Europe you are always struck by the peacefulness of landscape and by the sensation of peace. I have an Israeli passport and (may be fortunately) lost my ex_Soviet citizenship. However I undergo the strict security checks in Ben-Gurion airport, with a detailed questioning. I have seen how famous and respected US professor and his luggage was checked back and forth like if he was a famous ex-terrorist. One small parcel from a nice smiling mister will be enough to blow the whole plane... And the same happens, for example, in the El-Al office somewhere abroad, it is not important whether you have Israeli passport or not, you see the same cameras, metal locked doors and questioning. This is not the good, peaceful and quite life, recent explosions confirm this

Some impressions from crossing the Israeli and European borders.

Sunny and peaceful Greece, the country living mainly from tourism. When I first came there I had not the real Israeli passport but so called "Travel document" issued in Israel. I had an invitation to the conference with my name printed in the program and a letter from Technion to the Greece embassy, all air tickets etc.etc. I got the visa in Israel but the consul said me: "please take all your papers to the Athens airport, you may have problems". (Note that If I had Israeli passport I could go there without visa). I spent 2.5 hours in the special room near the passport control in the Athens airport (having visa and all papers)- they were afraid to let me in and checked everything. They didn't want to see my documents, papers, conference program, visas etc. I was just an outsider. And of course they had and have the "address in Greece" in all their entry forms.

...

A long queue to the El-Al counter in Athens. Suddenly someone comes to the queue with 2 large bags, looks around and go somewhere (cafe, toilet). The queue starts to feel itself like at home: two large bags are standing lonely on the stone floor. People go away and call the security. A fat American standing in front of me says: "It is not my buisness, I go away" and dissapears. Security comes exactly the moment this relaxed guy from Italy returns to move his cases...

...

A respected and famous professor from US comes to Israel with his wife. His impressions: there is such tension in the air... We went on the street and the Cola bottle felt from the counter and exploded. Everyone was frightened... Woman left her small bag in the park and went 5 meters away to help her small baby; the panic starts... We went in the taxi and a man calling himself an Iranian terrorist started to cry that he hates Israel and jews, that he have a bomb and will explode all of us, we were so lucky when he left us because we are americans...

This professor was robbed and beaten 3 times during the last 3 years in US.

...

Heathrow airport: Security just received a message that they may have a bomb in the small radio. I have a tape with the radio. The eyes of the officer became wide and they run to check it, their hands are shievering...

This is a sad reality of our world. The last comment: Israel now has a lot of problems with the ex_USSR citizens: we have a Russian mafia, several crime networks, illegal supply of drugs and prostitutes etc etc, e.g. killings here performed by the Russian citizens who managed to escape back etc. Similarly to the US, where local police was shoked by smart brutal and ignorant ex_Russian crime, these problems now appeared here.

This can add additional security measures to let ex-Soviet citizens in.

Yours,

Sasha Taratorin,
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering,
Technion - ISrael Institute of Technology
Haifa 32000 Israel

==================================================================================== Internet: sasha@maxc.technion.ac.il

Date: Thu, 11 Jun 92 01:40:01 PDT
From: muh@physics.berkeley.edu (Yury M. Mukharsky)
Subject: INFO-RUSS: Re: INFO-RUSS: Anti-semites and Semites

Sorry, I've tried not to flame aloud. Espessially, considering that I am not Jew. But! The story told in the message is "kak dve kapli vody" resembles the old stories about Soviet embassies all around the world (including multiple half-mirror doors). And responses to it is to same extent resembles official "Pravda" responses: "Vrag ne dremlet" etc.,etc. every person around the world is warned against going to America. And tgelling that Russian way of life does not allow people to feel soul attraction to anything is at least funny.

Sincerely, Yury Mukharsky.

PS. It was a long and hard day, nevertheless.

==================================================================================== From: barabash@wisdom.weizmann.ac.il (Barabash Alexander)

Subject: INFO-RUSS: RE: Anti-semites and Semites
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 92 13:39:37 GMT-2:00

Hi,

I am rather surprized to see the so furious support of the Israeli beurocracy by residents of the US :-). Why do you think being a Jew means to support whatever the Israeli government does?

Sasha.

==================================================================================== From: barabash@wisdom.weizmann.ac.il (Barabash Alexander)

Date: Thu, 11 Jun 92 15:19:48 +0300
From: Inna Lissovskaya <CSINNA@WEIZMANN.WEIZMANN.AC.IL>
Subject: INFO-RUSS: embassies

I have to admit that I've got sort of similar experience in dealing with foreign embassy officials.

In January-91, the time of the War in the Gulf I was a Soviet Citizen, studding in Israel. About one week before everything here started I decided, I'd like to spend the "hot time" not in Israel, but at my father's in Holland.

I should not mention that in the Dutch embassy all my things were carefully checked - all embassies do this. The questions I was asked were actually the same, that you , Asia, list in your letter, including ones about my nationality, relatives and my relatives' wages. And finally the girl stated that I would be able to get the Dutch visa in about two monthes the least, altho usually, not in the war time it takes about two weeks to get the same sort of visa. So I got perfect vacations in Holland just after the war was finished (In Rehovot, where I do live the war was not awful at all, though)

Europeans were just afraid of terrorists, whom they used to get many at that time, and this is what made them tough. I should say, I understand their reasons pretty well. I mean we all have passed through humiliating "visa-getting" procedures with lots of stupid rules in Soviet Ovirs. And now, meeting no humiliation we are ready to believe there will be no customs rules at all.

Inna.

==================================================================================== From KTINTAREV%UCIVMSA.BITNET@SEARN.SUNET.SE Thu Jun 11 18:23:09 1992

I wish to make an insider comment to your visa story (I am a citizen of Israel living in the US). The experience as the whole is very discouraging, and you have faced an over- lap of all major mishaps, prejudices and pecularities of Israeli government. Here is a brief analysis. Israel is a country in the state of war. The tough security arrangements are absolutely necessary if you do not want to see the embassies blown up as in Argentina. I am not an expert on protection against terrorism, but since Israelis are often invited by others to help with security arrangements, I believe that the intercoms, missile-proof doors etc. are inevitable. Israel has a pathologically inflexible bureacracy. Its European embassies have a statistic "portrait" of "high risk visitors" which include of course persons with unsteady residence and unsecure financial situation. I can even fancy that some ex-Soviets in Europe could be approached by terrorists for a paid comission. It is disgusting, however, that academic status and invitation to a conference do not shield an applicant from those suspicions. Questioning about relatives, address etc. is not unfamiliar to me. When I visited France in 1987 with Israeli pasport, I was asked by Chicago consulate to give addresses of three French citizens who can testisy on my character. On the other hand, most of Israelis consider ex-Soviet Jews as second-rate people good only to fill the army barracks and construction sites. This is a particular arrogance of a refugee camp elders that want the newcomers to do the dirty jobs. After all, Israel is a third world country (whatever else it tries to claim) and should be understood as such. You cannot expect its representatives to act like civilized people any more than those of Turkey or Cyprus. If they classify you as a riff-ruff, try to engage those who invited you to the conference, and with two-three telephone calls inside Israel the visas will be issued. Finally, I wish to diclose the best kept secret of Israel. It is a member of CIS in all but name.

Kyril Tintarev

==================================================================================== Date: Thu, 11 Jun 92 10:21:05 EDT

From: youssin@BOURBAKI.MIT.EDU

After having replied to Asya privately, I have been unpleasantly surprised to see the discussion flaming. After all, the main thrust of her story that she could not understand what was going on and how the State of Israel came to treat her this way. In response, she got probably even rougher treatment from some network members. The most upsetting was the amount of hatrid.

----Boris Youssin, Math Dept, MIT, youssin@math.mit.edu

==================================================================================== Date: Thu, 11 Jun 92 12:36:25 EDT

From: mkoifman@castor.Prime.COM (Michael Koifman x2892)
Subject: "what does the country of Israel ..."

Dear networkers:

I was appalled by the letter posted by Mr. Sokirko. I find it abominable and offensive. As some of the respondents already mentioned the problems with the security, bureaucracy and perceived rudeness and stupidity of the personnel of the Israeli services are well known. Moreover, with the possible exception of well organized security, all of it is not unique to Israelis, examples to the contrary in the letter notwithstanding. I will not tire the networkers with the samples of my own experience during 15 years in the West and extensive traveling. Suffice it to say, that bureaucracy, rudeness, stupidity and so on of all kind of government officials is spread around the world quite well.

What I find offensive and, to be blunt, plainly stupid is the claim that the behavior of the Embassy officials may be taken as a cause for the increase of the anti-Semitism in the world. I believe that the explanation is very simple. A normal person when effected by a bad behavior of a member of a group (Jews, blacks, etc.) thinks about the bad behavior of this person. An anti-Semite, racist and so on thinks about this behavior as a hateful attribute of the group that justifies his hatred. So, to make himself feel better he goes around telling everybody stories supporting his already existing feelings.

Corollary to this behavior is the behavior of some members of such groups and people associated with them. Observing anti-Semitism or racism they somehow come to the conclusion that there must be some ground for the feelings of so many outsiders. In their minds it must be the attributes of the people of these hated groups. So their become overly sensitive to any aspect of bad behavior displayed by their own people, assuming that it may be a cause for hatred by the outsiders. In my view this is just a different form of anti-Semitism or racism.

Sincerely
Michael Koifman

====================================================================================

From AGUTTING@ucs.indiana.edu Thu Jun 11 19:43:51 1992
Subject: Travel security problems

First of all: You can make airline reservations...and then pay for your tickets after you receive your visas.

Secondly: I understand how difficult it must have been for you... and must (saddly) say:

Welcome to the dark side of modern life.

This *is* the state of our globe these days. And such experiences are certainly not restricted to situations involving the Israeli embassy....nor are the questions you listed reserved for those who do not have "stable Western passports." I have never been a citizen of another country and travel on a US passport. From time to time I have needed to use the Frankfurt International Airport as a stopover. A recent example: this winter I was flying from Frankfurt back to the US (on a US carrier) in the anniversary-we ek of the Lockerbee Terrorist attack. I was fortunate that I had a *4 hour* stopover out of Helsinki, since I needed almost every minute of that time to get through all the normal security levels. Of course I was asked all the questions that you listed ...and I had to answer them twice (once with the representative of the airline and a second time with airport security). We ticket-holders were isolated in a special room 60 minutes before boarding (to give the authorities time to check the passenger check-in list against the baggage check-in list) and were questioned again (about "new friends," "meeting anyone in the airport," "being bumped into by anyone at the airport," etc.) as we passed the gate to board the plane.

There was nothing extraordinary about this....I am sorry to say. But it made me pause a moment...."have any of my fellow passengers forgotten about unattended bags? Has anyone lied when answering those questions?"

Bottom line? You really have to plan far in advance. Everything takes time when traveling to security-sensitive areas. Please try to have patience. I wish you good fortune and bon voyage.

All the Best,

Ann Gutting <agutting@ucs.indiana.edu>
Violinmaker
Indiana University School of Music
Bloomington, IN

==================================================================================== From aej@prefect.cc.bellcore.com Thu Jun 11 21:53:13 1992

Dear friends:

Personally, I feel very sympathetic towards your feelings about the Israeli bureaucrats. Although security concerns probably are and ought to be taken very seriously, I would agree with you that they cannot be used as an excuse to ruin travel plans of tourists, Jewish or not. I've had similar experiences with Israelis in general. Some examples:

- During a visit to Israel I noticed that the bus drivers will not wait when they see passengers running for their bus. Furthermore, they will often wait just enough so that you're ready to jump in, and then in the last second they will slam the door shut. This is in great contrast to the US where the bus drivers will almost always wait (within reasonable limits, of course).

- When you try to exchange money in a bank (most banks are private, I believe), bank workers will often treat you like a sales clerk ("prodavets") would in the former Soviet Union, i.e., they will not be afraid to show that you're a nuisance to them and you're disturbing their well deserved rest. It is my impression, although I don't have much data to back this up, that Israeli bureaucrats very much resemble Soviet bureaucrats. I don't know what the reasons for this are, but maybe you can figure them out through some of the email you'll receive. If so, please send me a note. I suspect that the reasons are cultural and sociological, and being a physicist by training, I would not claim any ability to identify them. I do have some guesses that I would like to share with you should you find them interesting:

- Life in Israel is very tense and not only because of security threats (I think that this is a trait of jewish culture)

- There is a jewish (and non-jewish?) cultural trait of trying to make one's job look important. Thus, the people who did not give you a visa might feel that they have accomplished something by preventing potential terrorists from going to Israel; if they did give you the visa, well, they would feel that there was not much of an accomplishment to show. If you are not terrorists, what do they care ... (see below).

- In Israel, just as in ex-SU, there is a greater emphasis on belonging to a social group at large, i.e., Jews for the former and comrades-in-labor for the latter. I suspect that for this reason the Israeli bureaucrats have little concern for the plight of individuals - the fact that they ruined your travel plans is of little importance to them.

I hope that this was of some consolation. With best wishes,

-- Sasha

==================================================================================== Date: Thu, 11 Jun 92 12:42:55 EST

From: lipkin@alehouse.acc.qc.edu
Subject: INFO-RUSS: Trip to Israel.

Hello everybody.

Recent story about all the tortures of tourists in Israeli embassies was very moving but it however did not discourage me from going to Israel this summer.

I have some questions connected with this trip:

1. I have received a "green card" in the US as the result of my refugee status and applied for refugee travel document 2 weeks ago. I still have soviet passport but I did not register in the embassy. What papers I have to get for Israeli visas and to be able to return to the US. What's the fastest way to do it?

2. Do you know where to find cheep tickets to Israel? I have heard of some flight through Bucharest. Does it exist?

I'll appreciate ani info I can get.

Thanks in advance. Eugene Lipkin

lipkin@alehouse.acc.qc.edu

==================================================================================== Date: Thu, 11 Jun 92 10:13 PDT

From: KTINTAREV@vmsc.oac.uci.edu
Subject: INFO-RUSS: Israel-bashing

Dear friends:

It is hard to me to bear the tone in which the discussion of Asia's grievances is held. On one hand we see an ex-Soviet consumer disdain for Israel: Israel is seen as indebted to Russian Jews and is despised for its mishaps. On the other hand, Israeli "patriots" defend by their chest the paranoidal security procedures without any reservations. All this bears not as much on Israel as on Russian-Jewish identity problem, and first of all on a confusion between a role of Israel as a cultural consolidator of Jewish identity and its role (as seen by many Russian Jews) as a trash can for loosers (those who failed at home or in the West), a forgotten granny which will give you some ZIMES and KREPLACH any time you fancy to remeber her.

Whatever a Jew thinks about Israel, Israel is a part of him more than he is a or is not a part of it. ^

Kyril Tintarev, Irvine

==================================================================================== Date: Thu, 11 Jun 92 17:14:40 +0300

From: MTLEVINA@WEIZMANN.WEIZMANN.AC.IL
Subject: INFO-RUSS: Awful events in Israeli embassy in Sweden

What happened with you people ? If you lost your sense of humor don't loose sense of reality :).

How much KB can we spend discussing this disaster in Sweden .

If I hadn't read original message I would have thought that somebody is killed or wounded by Israeli security people. Thanks God everyone is alive . Nothing strange that Russian citizen holding american permanent resident visa , staying in Sweden and saying that she is Jew was found suspicious by burocrats in Israeli embassy . And without supporting Israeli burocracy I can not say that I would behave other way on their place.

I can explain the difference between Low of Return, Low of Citizenship and The Low of Entry of Israel to everyone who find this interesting .

To those who want to know the name of info-lists about Israel I can send them this information too.

Meanwhile may be we should recall the name of the list : INFO-RUSS and stop discussion about Israel ?

Evgeni Levin , Rehovot , Israel

==================================================================================== Date: Thu, 11 Jun 92 14:05:13 -0400

From: jbk@smarty.ece.jhu.edu (Jacob Khurgin)

In reply to:

From: Inna Lissovskaya <CSINNA@WEIZMANN.WEIZMANN.AC.IL> In January-91, the time of the War in the Gulf I was a Soviet Citizen, STUDDING in Israel. About one week before everything here started I decided, I'd like to spend the "hot time" not in Israel, but at my father's in Holland.

Wow! Would not I like to go and STUD in Israel or anywhere else, at least for a while, rather than spend my days trying to instill knowledge into the mostly empty heads of the graduate students. Please, tell me how to do it.

==================================================================================== From: raskin@j.cc.purdue.edu (Victor Raskin)

Subject: INFO-RUSS: No flame

youssin@BOURBAKI.MIT.EDU writes:

from some network members. The most upsetting was the amount of hatrid. I did not see any hatred towards Asya. I certainly did not feel or express any. It is indeed a shame that it took so much bandwidth, but it is not irrelevant to the list. This is a useful story for inexperienced travellers as to what to expect in security-sensitive environments, especially under unusual circumstances. Do not assume that it is obvious to everybody that you are harmless just because you know that you are. Cooperate by being patient and understanding. And remember that you are on your own--nobody owes you anything!

Victor Raskin
raskin@j.cc.purdue.edu Professor of English and Linguistics
(317) 494-3782
Chair, Interdepartmental Program in Linguistics 494-3780 fax
Coordinator, Natural Language Processing Laboratory
Purdue University
W. Lafayette, IN 47907 U.S.A.

==================================================================================== Date: Fri, 12 Jun 92 06:32:13 IDT

From: malomed%TAURUS.bitnet@TAUNIVM.TAU.AC.IL
Subject: INFO-RUSS: provocation

Dear networkers,

I strongly believe that this is just humiliating for us to get engaged into the discussion provoked by the recent stupid message (I try to choose the mildest expression) of Mr. Sokirko, to say nothing that this is against the rules accepted by us as the subscibers. I think the only relevant thing to do is to ask the administrator of the network to apply sanctions in this case of the most outrageous violation of our rules.

Boris Malomed
Associate Professor
School of Mathematical sciences
Tel Aviv University

==================================================================================== Date: Fri, 12 Jun 92 09:44:13 +0200

From: ivrii@orphee.polytechnique.fr (Victor Ivrii)
Subject: Israeli visa

Hi, Asya!

I didn't notice yesterday that I should reply to this address and replied to the address of your husband. There is a copy.

COMMENTS.

Your story seems to me rather strange because in Israeli Embassy in Paris the security measures seemed to be one year ago really lame. Don't be very irritated. Their questions are really linked with security. They really asked you for recommendation. There is a lot of embassies which asks their central departments (in order to check some archives and your background). Blame your passport (I have the same).

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO?

Ask the organizers of the conference to get visas for both of you in the Interior Affairs Ministry and send them to Stockholm. It is the best way. But it is not very quick also especially if you are going the first time. Ask them to fax the copies to you (it is helpful in Embassy because it helps to find visas if clerks lose them). It is my own experience. And try to provide recommendations. Did you show the Birth Certificate with your nationality to officials?

BE AS COOPERATIVE AS POSSIBLE.

Victor Ivrii
Centre de Mathematiques Ecole Polytechnique 91128 Palaiseau FRANCE

================================================================================ From: Victor Grinberg <vsg@SENSOR.RI.CMU.EDU>

Date: Fri, 12 Jun 92 10:03:58 EDT
Subject: your circumstances

Dear Asya & Artjom,

Obstowtel'stva na]i govno, no esli t/ govno - ne vini obstowtel'stva, (Il'w Zverev, Ona i on).

Victor

===============================================================================

Dear friends!

We have obtained 26 answers on "the story about Israeli embassy in Sweden". Thanks everybody for reaction on it. Sure, we would like to answer to all of you by INFORUSS too. But as far as we promised not to break rules any more, in particular the rule about discussions, we ask you to mail directly to us. We will send answers exactly to authors. If somebody is interested in this discussion more closely, we can send its current copy after your request.

Asya Makhlina (guest1h@theophys.kth.se)

================================================================================

Date: Fri, 12 Jun 92 13:07:52 BST
From: A.Shafarenko@ee.surrey.ac.uk

Hi, everybody,

Let me first remind you that the Coordinator, who's having rest far away at the moment, told everybody to behave while he was off. Which means to regard the INFO-RUSS Code of Practise :-). I can easily imagine how furious he'll become on his return seeing the number of postings and their highly provocative character. Never mind, I just wanted to express my amazement. Why the hell any bureaucratic difficulties should be construed as a manifestation of either love or hatred towards Jews? Is this a deeply rooted feature of Jewish mentality? Look, a girl was badly treated at an embassy. She happened to be *ethnically* Jewish. And the embassy happened to be Israeli. All right, venerable intellectuals (mostly professors!..) immediately open a heated debate to establish

a) if the Embassy has a right to treat Jews (not just any that way;

b) if the girl should be ashamed of her attitudes towards her Historic Motherland.

I find this hilarious (I am a Jew by the way). Come on, A GIRL WAS TREATED BADLY AT AN EMBASSY full stop. They should have explained it to her that the questioning was necessary. That they had nothing against her personally, but were just following the routine for her own safety. AND THEY SHOULD HAVE BLOODY SMILED more often!!!

She wouldn't have written her painful letter then, and you wouldn't have been discussing all this irrelevant stuff ("a conflict between a Jew and Israel is a conflict with his/herself", etc..) for such a long time.

It may sound snobbish, but, whatever the circumstances, an immigration officer absolutely must be friendly, helpful and polite (to a female in particular). Whether this is to do with Jewishness or not. And no matter how many terrorists are walking around. I don't understand Viktor's persistent reminder that we are here on our own and therefore nobody owes us nothing. They do owe us respect, don't they?...

Cheers,

Alex Shafarenko | voice: +44-483-509130

Department of Electronic Engineering | fax: +44-483-34139 University of Surrey | telex: 859331 UNIVSY G

GU2 5XH, England | e-mail: a.shafarenko@ee.surrey.ac.uk

=================================================================================== Date: Fri, 12 Jun 92 11:13:35 EDT From: mmarkish@feds46.Prime.COM (Mark Markish x2799)

To: info-russ@smarty.ece.jhu.edu
Subject: INFO-RUSS: Nation, Meanness and Pride

From: A.Shafarenko@ee.surrey.ac.uk
how furious he [the newsgroup host] will become on his return seeing the number of postings and their highly provocative character.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why so? As a metter of fact, I don't find any of them provocative, that is, deliberately designed to cause malicious reaction. I feel they are but pure and unadulturated expressions of one's views and attitudes, regardless of the image they might create in the "gentiles".

Never mind, I just wanted to express my amazement. Why any bureaucratic difficulties should be construed as a manifestation of either love or hatred towards Jews? Is this a deeply rooted feature of Jewish mentality?

Look, a girl was badly treated at an embassy. She happened to be *ethnically* Jewish. And the embassy happened to be Israeli... I find this hilarious ... Whether this is to do with Jewishness or not...

I find it as hilarious as you do, but I would spare my amazement. I would rather heed to what they say. And take notice. It matters.

============================================================

From: "Olga Epelboim" <OE2@CU.NIH.GOV>
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 92 15:10:24 EDT
Subject: Re: <artjom@theophys.kth.se>

> info-russ@smarty.ece.jhu.edu
Dear friends!

We have obtained 26 answers on "the story about Israeli embassy in Sweden". Thanks everybody for reaction on it. Sure, we would like to answer to all of you by INFORUSS too. But as far as we promised not to break rules any more, in particular the rule about discussions, we ask you to mail directly to us. We will send answers exactly to authors. If somebody is interested in this discussion more closely, we can send its current copy after your request.

Asya Makhlina (guest1h@theophys.kth.se)

Dear Asya, my family and I left the USSR in 1977; after receiving US citizenship, we began to travel with american passports, which give one some advantages in travelling. However, when we went to Bulgaria in 1987 to meet our friends from Moscow, we remembered everything, we experienced in 1977, when we emigrated from Russia, I mean almost (they were especially "good" to us, because we had american passports with the paragraph "place of birth Moscow, USSR"). Since my daughter forgot that feeling of helplessness and fear in Sheremetbevo, 1977, I make her a sign "be quiet", when bulgarian officer, after moving metall detector along our bodies (it's normal in Europe), touched with his hand our bras (they had wires, and his detector bipped). Most of the times we did not have problems or did not think about it. But in Spain they asked us if we packed our luggage on our own and did not leave it in the hotel room. Once, going to Europe from Washington Dullas airport, we were the only couple in the line, which was searched very carefully - I blame my husband appearance - he has all features of terrorists, so now I make him trim his hair, beard and mustash and wear 3-piece suit, if we go abroad.

Poka. Vsego xoroshego. Take it easy (vozbmite eto dlya Izi).

Olbga.

================================================================================= Date: 12 Jun 92 11:49:21 EDT

From: Oleg.V.Mikhailov@Dartmouth.EDU
Subject: INFO-RUSS: Ruki proch'!
Ne imeya nichego protiv, no daje bolee iz sochuvstviya k pis'mu Asi ( kotoruyu imeyu udovol'stvie znat' lichno) hotel by vnesti na obsujdenie dostopochtennyh subscriberov sleduyushee predlojenie: libo, iz uvajeniya k pravilam INFORUSS-a diskussiyu o povedenii Izrail'skogo posol'stva v Stokgol'me zakryt' i pereiti obratno k obsujdeniyu raznoobraznyh rasprodaj i kuponov na kolbasu, libo pereimenovat' INFO-RUSS v INFO-JEWS i obsujdat' problemy mejdunarodnogo sionizma, a vsyakih tam uchenyh i studentov s ih durackimi problemami tipa platy nalogov, grantov, i polucheniyami viz, poslat' na her.

Koroche! Rebyata, perenosite diskussiyu v kuluary!

Vse kommentarii pros'ba slat' lichno na moi adress

Nikogda n ebyvshii antisimitom, no byvshii segodnya k etomu blizkim,

Oleg.

================================================================================ Date: Fri, 12 Jun 92 09:56:10 PDT

From: covdy@shemesh.Metaphor.COM (Ivan Covdy)
Subject: INFO-RUSS: Re: ... What the fuck!!!!!!!!!!!

Looks like not everybody received my previous e-mail.

Again: WHAT THE FUCK HAS THIS GROUP WITH DISCUSSION OF ISRAEL'S POLICY???? If you'd like to continue discussions, go to soc.culture.jewish or relevant Mail-lists.

=============================================================================

From: raskin@j.cc.purdue.edu (Victor Raskin)
Subject: INFO-RUSS: Re: INFO-RUSS: INFO-RUSS: national pride
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 92 11:48:51 EST

A.Shafarenko@ee.surrey.ac.uk writes:

I don't understand Viktor's persistent reminder that we are here on our own and therefore nobody owes us nothing. They do owe us respect, don't they?...

I agree with just about every point Alex makes. The first message should not have been posted and no connection between a bad bureaucratic episode and Jewishness/Israel should have been drawn. But the moment it was, our strong collective response was not an overreaction--rather an unfortunately necessary defensive reflex. And yes, Alex, they all (whoever they are) owe us respect, but just they do everybody else, which is not much per capita. No special treatment can be expected for our past suffering. The collective they know nothing about it and care even less. It's natural--no hard feelings.

Victor Raskin
raskin@j.cc.purdue.edu Professor of English and Linguistics
(317) 494-3782
Chair, Interdepartmental Program in Linguistics 494-3780 fax
Coordinator, Natural Language Processing Laboratory
Purdue University
W. Lafayette, IN 47907 U.S.A.

====================================================================================

From lebedev@dxl303.cern.ch Thu Jun 11 07:55:56 1992

From: LAVRENTYEV@rcgl1.eng.ohio-state.edu
Subject: INFO-RUSS: AHEKDOT

Chto-to pro anekdoty-to my i zabyli! Itak:

Vladimir Il'ich Lenin govorit Nadezhde Konstatinovne:

- Naden'gka, kogda ja umgu, pohogoni, pozhaluista moi oggan otdel'no.

-Zachem, Voloden'ka?

- Togda Magtov skazhet: "Lenin umer i hui s nim!" - i budet opjat' nepgav!

====================================================================================

Date: Sat, 13 Jun 92 17:53:24 CDT
From: Pavel Nikiforovitch <S947607@UMSLVMA.UMSL.EDU

Subject: INFO-RUSS: Re: RUKI PROCH

I was amazed by the posting of Oleg Mikhailov, named "Ruki proch !":

Subject: INFO-RUSS: Ruki proch'!
Ne imeya nichego protiv, no daje bolee iz sochuvstviya k pis'mu Asi ( kotoruyu imeyu udovol'stvie znat' lichno) hotel by vnesti na obsujdenie dostopochtennyh subscriberov sleduyushee predlojenie: libo, iz uvajeniya k pravilam INFORUSS-a diskussiyu o povedenii Izrail'skogo posol'stva v Stokgol'me zakryt' i pereiti obratno k obsujdeniyu raznoobraznyh rasprodaj i kuponov na kolbasu, libo pereimenovat' INFO-RUSS v INFO-JEWS i obsujdat' problemy mejdunarodnogo sionizma, a vsyakih tam uchenyh i studentov s ih durackimi problemami tipa platy nalogov, grantov, i polucheniyami viz, poslat' na her.

It's of no secret, that most of the ex-Soviets living abroad (and almost all ex-Soviets who emigrated) are Jewish. And the discussion about Israeli embassy in Stockholm, security of Israel etc is really interesting for most of them. What's wrong with discussing it here ? If this discussion is interesting for many INFORUSS subscribers, why should it be "closed" ? Nobody suggests to "poslat' na her" "vsyakih tam uchenyh i studentov". Such suggestion would be as outrageous and as anti-freedom of speech (and pro-censorship) as Oleg's suggestion (to "zakryt'" discussion about Jews and Israel). (Funny: to terminate discussion about Jews and Israel is defined by Oleg as "zakryt'", but to terminate other discussions is defined by him as "poslat' na her") No one should be "poslan na her" or "zakryt". No censorship should prevent any INFORUSS subscribers from any discussions (including those which are not interesting to all 100% of subscribers).

Koroche! Rebyata, perenosite diskussiyu v kuluary!

Which "kuluary" ? I don't know how to be subsribed to other groups which unite ex-Soviets ! I've no idea how to get access to groups like "soc. culture.soviet", "soc.culture.jewish", or "talk.politics.soviet".

Vse kommentarii pros'ba slat' lichno na moi adress

In other words, your statement should be read by all the subscribers, while other people's responses on it should be read by you only. No way !

Nikogda n ebyvshii antisimitom, no byvshii segodnya k etomu blizkim,
Oleg.

If you're going to become anti-Semite, first learn how to write this word. In Russian, it should be written "antisEmit", not "antisImit" !

==================================================================================== Date: Sun, 14 Jun 92 08:20:26 +0300

From: MTLEVINA@WEIZMANN.WEIZMANN.AC.IL
Subject: INFO-RUSS: Embassy (But not Israeli !!)

Hello to all.

I would appreciate any information on the following subjects.

1. How to "vstat' na uchet " ( registrate myself ) in Soviet( Russian) embassy in US, Germany, Israel I came to Israel as a tourist and got Israeli citizenship.

2. Will this registration give me a possibility to come to Russia without visa and live it without OVIR procedure. ?

3. Can one cancel Russian Citizenship ?

4. What are the rules of holding property in Russia ( flat) for emigrants.

5. What are the new rules for the Army service in Russia ( I there are any ).

Thanks in advance .

Evegni Levin

P.S

Please note that this postage IS NOT INITIATION OF A NEW FLAME :) since on my opinion criticizing burocrats of any nation and country is as useful as criticizing climate .

==================================================================================== Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1992 9:41:54 +0300 (EET-DST)

From: SASHA@MAXC.TECHNION.AC.IL
Subject: INFO-RUSS: re: semites & antisemites

Hello everybody!

Since our discussion of jewish, jewishness, semites and antisemites went a little too far I'd like to post this short and funny story which I liked very much. This story probably reflects some of our problems and my suggestion is to smile and to return to normal net-life.
--------------------------------------------

"DVORNIK EFIMYCH"

Efimych sat in his empty room near the table and again and again looked around at the empty and dirty walls, old table and small lamp which gave this strange dull light enough only to see the room corners. Efimych was in a bad mood, vodka finished and all shops were already closed.

Suddenly he heard a strong annoying noise. Efimych stood up and went close to the window. A window of a large flat on the 3-d floor was shining in the darkness. A large table with a white cover was standing in the middle of the room and a jewish family, father in a black cap, fat mother and a lot of small black jumping children with long peises were jumping around the table and singing some song in a strange, unknown and ugly language. Efimych felt how a strange sharp feeling rose somewhere inside him. Suddenly the family stopped dancing and father started bending back and forth with a book in his hand, loudly exclaiming something which sounded offensive and militant. The heart of Efimych jumped, his hands contracted and started to tremble. "Zhidy proklyatye"- he thought and russian mat flew from his mouth. The evening was now completely spoiled. Efimych took his sweep and went to the street. He worked with all his soul throwing away old papers and dirt but could not relax: when he remembered this room and all these people jumping and singing, his whole body started to vibrate from hate. Suddenly a small ugly jewish boy with peises went out of the house and started running around Efimych, jumping, showing his tongue and crying "Gusskii, Russkii". The whole body of Efimych started to vibrate. "Now, now I will kill the bastard" - he thought," closer, closer" - his fingers contracted around his sweep and he took a step forward. Unfortunately, exactly this moment the fat jewish mother run to the street and took her child away. Efimych felt that he wants to die. "-Efimych" - suddenly heard he the voice from the second floor - "Come here, "dryabnem"". He came in, they drank vodka in silence, eating onions with old bread. The warm flow rose from inside Efimych and the flame of hate became less persistent.

Efimych rose in his dark dirty room and sat near the table. He took a book and started to read: "Ani lomed ivrit" - he read this phrase again and again.

Former Doctor of Chemistry, Head of the Research Department, David Efimovich Bernstein several months ago immigrated to Israel.

**********************

Yours,
Alex Taratorin,
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering,
Technion
Internet: sasha@maxc.technion.ac.il

==================================================================================== Date: Sun, 14 Jun 92 10:32:59 +0300

From: dima@batata.huji.ac.il (Dima Krylov)
To: info-russ@smarty.ece.jhu.edu
Subject: INFO-RUSS:Israel embassy,Jews,Antisemitism
Status:Ohohohoho!

Oh,Lord!

Why it is so many morons in this world,and such a negligible fraction of people with at least a small amount of brains?

mail info

Dear friends!

We have obtained 26 answers on "the story about Israeli embassy in Sweden". Thanks everybody for reaction on it. Sure, we would like to answer to all of you by INFORUSS too. But as far as we promised not to break rules any more, in particular the rule about discussions, we ask you to mail directly to us. We will send answers exactly to authors. If somebody is interested in this discussion more closely, we can send its current copy after your request.

Asya Makhlina (guest1h@theophys.kth.se)

Contact me!

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