Research for this project was carried out with the assistance of a grant from the Australian Prime Ministers Centre.
Australia and the Struggle for Soviet Jewry: 1961–1972
Article first published online: 10 JUN 2014
© 2014 The Author. Australian Journal of Politics and History © 2014 School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Australian Journal of Politics & History
Volume 60, Issue 2, pages 194–213, June 2014
How to Cite
Rutland, S. D. (2014), Australia and the Struggle for Soviet Jewry: 1961–1972. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 60: 194–213. doi: 10.1111/ajph.12054
- Issue published online: 10 JUN 2014
- Article first published online: 10 JUN 2014
The plight of Soviet Jewry emerged as a major issue for World Jewry after the Second World War. Both Israel and Jewish Diaspora communities campaigned to give Soviet Jews either freedom of religion or the right to emigrate. The 1960s saw the promotion of the latter, with the slogan “Let My People Go”. Whilst geographically isolated and only being a medium power, the Australian government played a key role, with Australian politicians at times acting against the advice of the public service. The politicians were swayed by idealism, whereas department officials pursued a pragmatic, realist approach, being only concerned with what they saw as Australia's core foreign policy interests.