Jewish emigration from the USSR and Russia, on the one hand, is a topic that seems to have undergone the most detailed analysis, and on the other ... It’s worthwhile to delve deeper not into its official interpretations, but into the recollections of the direct participants in this long and arduous process, as it becomes it is clear: not everything here is so simple. In the end, abandoning everything, breaking loose and tearing through half the world in pursuit of some ephemeral beautiful future is not a very easy decision. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of our compatriots have accepted and accept it for themselves. Why?
As a matter of fact, it is possible to talk about any mass emigration (or, if you like, repatriation) of Soviet citizens to Israel, starting from the 60s of the XX century. Firstly, it was then that the state regime somewhat softened, the “Iron Curtain” began to give even small, but cracks, and the desire to leave the USSR no longer equated automatically to treason. And secondly, the state of Israel suddenly declared itself powerfully and loudly, winning the Six Day War. In many sources, this victory is indicated as the reason that prompted the Soviet Jews, who at once inflamed with "patriotic feelings" and pride in the land of their ancestors, to begin to make plans for their departure.
Most likely, this is not entirely true. In fact, after the “Six Day War” in the Soviet Union, the processes of “the fight against Zionism” and other leaders, as was the case in the domestic stories more than once or twice, they began to go too far, beginning to seek out “Zionists” in their own collectives and organizations. It is clear that some of the Soviet citizens who flaunted the notorious “fifth count”, this ruined the life. Hence the sudden zeal that arose from them at any cost.
Incidentally, according to the recognition of the most honest and frank leaders of the repatriation movement in the USSR, only a few were the ideological opponents of the Soviet regime among those who left. The rest were simply eager to go where, in their opinion, they would have more life prospects, where they would be more satisfying, freer, more fun to live. With regard to the religious component - about the same picture. If all the repatriates were attracted by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, then they would not end up in New York, having made a transfer from a Soviet plane in Vienna or Rome not to Israeli, but to American. In 1973, out of the nearly 35 thousand Jews who left the USSR, about one and a half thousand turned out to be such, and already in 1989, almost 80% of those who left our country to reunite with their families in Israel turned out to be nearly XNUMX% of US citizens.
One writer later characterized this audience as tricky people who at one time disassembled three countries: the Union lied about relatives in Israel, the Israelis swore allegiance to Zion, and the Americans were convinced of the alleged “political persecution” against them. In fact, people just wanted to get out of the “hated scoop”. How much their dreams of heavenly life in the West subsequently came true - a topic for a completely different conversation.
For the same reason, the flow of emigrants sharply increased from the “ruins” of the USSR - they fled to the “promised land” from countries where there was no more peace, no peace, no normal work, no clear prospects. They fled wherever they could. For people with higher education, representatives of scientific and creative intelligentsia, this was especially true.
Leave for Israel from Russia and other CIS countries today. Fortunately, there are no more problems with this. The movement of “refuseniks” - those who were not given permission to travel in the USSR — has long been forgotten. After decades, problems with the KGB and party organization among those who decided to go for a visa to the Israeli embassy seem to be a terrible fairy tale. Anyway, now anyone and anywhere can leave, there would be a desire and would be taken wherever you go.
The West has lost an excellent opportunity to pressure our country for “obstructing repatriation”, reproaching it for “violation of human rights”. Today, one has to use completely different reasons for this.
Why are you going now? Yes, all for the same reason that the president not so long ago voiced, recalling on this occasion the saying about fish and people. They are looking for where deeper, they are looking for where it is better ... True, for some time back traffic has also been outlined, primarily for the creative intelligentsia mentioned above, the "open spaces" of Israel for the flight of their creative thoughts turned out to be too narrow.