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was primarily a party of former Soviet Jews and which won seven seats in the 1996 elections; after that election and until 2005, Sharansky served as a minister in four Israeli Governments; in 2009 he was chosen to serve as Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive and led a comprehensive reform that placed the issue of strengthening the Jewish identity at the center of the Agency's activities.
Sharansky ended his tenure at the head of the Agency in 2018. In the nine years of his tenure, about 200 thousand Olim arrived in Israel, mostly from former Soviet Union countries. The Agency personnel – under his responsibility – had worked on their initial absorption all those years.
The Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public
In the years 1981-1982, the final years of Soviet Union President Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet immigration policy took a turn for the worse. During those years, the number of exit visas from the Soviet Union was greatly restricted while the dropout rate increased even more regardless. In the years 1983-1984, during the brief rule of Yuri Andropov and of Konstantin Chernenko, Brezhnev's successors, and in the years 1985-1986, the first years of Michael Gorbachev's rule, an additional reduction occurred in the scope of immigration from the Soviet Union. The result was that throughout the Eighties, less than 10,000 Olim arrived in Israel. The lowest point was in 1986, in which only 904 exit visas were granted to Soviet Jews – of which only 201 Olim arrived in Israel.
Moreover: In the Eighties, the Soviet authorities intensified their anti-Zionist activities and increased their propaganda against the State of Israel. In 1983, they established the "Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public," which was comprised of Jews who were loyal to the Communist regime and headed by the Jewish Colonel General David Dragunsky, who had defended the Soviet anti-Jewish activities for years. Serving alongside Dragunsky were the Jewish author Yuri Kolesnikov and Mark Krupkin, Vice-Chairman of the large publishing house "Novosti," Igor Belyayev, who wrote many Anti-Zionist books and others. One of the personages who was attached to the Committee at the order of the authorities was the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Rabbi Adolf Shayevich. They attached to him dozens of Jews who "represented" the various Jewish communities throughout the Soviet Union.
The "Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public" engaged in the distribution of poisonous anti- Zionist propaganda and made an effort to combat Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union. It constantly compared Zionism to Nazism and Israel to Nazi Germany. Its propagandists conducted incitement broadcasts on Radio Moscow and distributed hundreds of thousands of poisonous articles, booklets and books. They made alliances and cooperated with Jewish and non-Jewish anti-Zionist circles, within and outside the Soviet Union, including Satmer Hassidic circles, Neturei Karta and the anti-racism movement in the United States – which cooperated with Islamic organizations.

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