MK litinetsky flies to Georgia to aid Jewish communities

Litinetsky, an immigrant from the Russian city of Kazan, flew to the area Sunday night in order to come to the aid of Israelis and indigenous Jewish communities.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
August 11, 2008 23:10
2 minute read.
MK litinetsky flies to Georgia to aid Jewish communities

Litinetsky 224.88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

While some MKs might use the ongoing recess as an excuse for family trips overseas, newly-instated Labor MK Leon Litinetsky has spent the past day of recess launching a whirlwind trip to a less friendly area - the war-torn mountain region of South Ossetia, the focal point of the battles between Georgia and Russia. Litinetsky, himself an immigrant from the Russian city of Kazan, flew to the area Sunday night in order to come to the aid of Israelis and indigenous Jewish communities who have gotten stuck in the crossfire. Litinetsky, who led the Labor Party's Russian campaign in the last elections, spent Sunday meeting with Georgian Jews in Israel, who expressed concern about the well-being of family members who had remained in the area as well as Israeli-Georgian families who had flown to the region during the summer vacation to allow children to learn about their heritage. After that meeting, Litinetsky decided that the logical response to the situation was to fly to the troubled region to personally look in to the situation of the Jewish communities in the area. After leaving Israel on Sunday night, Litinetsky landed in Georgia and on Monday afternoon traveled to combat area, where he encountered the remaining members of the Jewish community. The isolated area in which he was operating Monday afternoon was devoid of cell phone reception, and despite repeated efforts to establish contact with the MK, Litinetsky was unreachable after venturing into the region. Litenesky's staffers in Israel said that for the Israel Electric union leader, it does not matter that he hails from Russia and is now seeking to aid those who are on the opposite side of the battle-lines from his former country. Instead, they said, his perspective is that he represents all immigrants from the former Soviet States in Israel, who all share Russian as a common language and have shared experiences in their pasts. For Litinetsky, the visit to the conflict region is not a question of politics, but rather stems from a desire to support families living in Israel who are concerned about their loved ones trapped between the lines. On Tuesday, he is expected to finish his mission in Georgia and to fly back to Israel, but only for one day, after which he will take his son on a trip to learn about his own heritage, to the Tartarstan city of Kazan, where he grew up - on the Russian side of the conflict. Litinetsky, an engineer, made aliya from Russia in 1991 and lives in Kfar Saba with his wife and son.


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