The Knesset passed in preliminary reading a bill by Alex Kushnir of NDI to postpone Prisoner of Zion Day to June 15.
On June 15, 1970, a group of Zionist objectors attempted to hijack An -2 at the airport near Leningrad in order to fly across the border of the USSR. It was an act of self-sacrifice. The participants of the action (it was called “Operation” Wedding “) knew that there were no chances for its implementation – they will either be captured on the ground or shot down in the air. But by their desperate act they hoped to attract the attention of the world community to the problem of refuseniks and, under international pressure, to achieve from the Soviet leadership the freedom of Jews to leave for Israel.
They really managed to break a gap in silence around the Jewish problem in the USSR, but they themselves had to pay a heavy personal price for this. Participants in Operation “Wedding” were sentenced to long terms, two – Mark Dymshits and Eduard Kuznetsov – handed down death sentences, which were then, under pressure from Western leaders, commuted to 20 years in prison. However, it was after this that the right to repatriate Soviet Jews became the subject of international discussion, and the Soviet authorities began to release their Jews – a slow, difficult, but irresistible process began.
In the recent history of Zionism, there is hardly an episode of such significance and drama. But in the country of Zionism they know offensively little about him. The law on celebrating the Day of the Prisoner of Zion on the anniversary of “Operation” Wedding “is called to correct this gap.
This is so important for the ideology of Zionism and justice in relation to the heroes of the operation, some of whom, fortunately, still with us that only two members of the Knesset voted against it at the preliminary reading of Alex Kushnir's bill.
Their names will not surprise you. This is Moshe Gafni and Yaakov Litzman – leaders of Yaadut HaTorah. They reaffirmed that the political bloc they lead is not just non-Zionist, but anti-Zionist. Posing as zealous defenders of the traditions and values of Judaism, they do not hesitate to express disdain and contempt for the traditions and values on which this country is built.