BDE: Former Prisoner of Zion Mark Dimshitz

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candle914Former Prisoner of Zion Mark Dimshitz z”l was niftar at the age of 88. He was a Prisoner of Zion, a refusnik, one of the leading figures in the struggle of Soviet Jewry to immigrate to Israel.

Dimshitz, a Jewish pilot, was a leading player in 1970 hijacking conspiracy which became known as Operation Wedding. The 16 refusniks taking part planned to fly a plane from the USSR to the West on June 15, 1970. They hoped to escape the USSR and make their way to Israel. Their unsuccessful attempt brought international attention to the plight of Jews in the USSR and led to a reduction in aliyah restrictions.

The plot was organized and headed by Edward Kuznetsov. They planned to buy seats on a small civilian aircraft under the guise of traveling to a wedding.

Minister of Absorption Ze’ev Elkin mourned the death of the former activist, calling him “one of the heroes of Israel in our generation”. He added that it was symbolic that he was niftar on the year during which Israel marks the 25th anniversary of the big aliyah from the USSR.

The levaya is set to take place on Wednesday, 11 Elul. Details have not yet been announced.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)