Let My People Go, The Jerusalem Post, 1971
This poster from 1971 advocated freeing Jews from the USSR. The poster was printed in The Jerusalem Post. The slogan "Let My People Go" is written in both Hebrew and English. It is a quotation from the book of Exodus: "The Lord said to Moses: 'Come to Pharaoh and say to him: So said the Lord, God of the Hebrews, let My people go, that they may serve Me.' "
Above and below the slogan appear the flags of two countries: the USSR and Syria. During this time, different groups, including Jews, were denied permission to emigrate from the USSR and from Syria. In the USSR, some Jews who applied for permission to emigrate were wrongfully accused of crimes. They were usually fired from their jobs and forced to accept menial labor, if they could find employment at all. In Syria, the Jews were prohibited from leaving the country, and those caught trying to leave the country illegally were imprisoned or even executed.
Following these bans on aliya, Jewish people around the world joined in efforts to help the Soviet and Syrian Jews. Some individuals visited the USSR and helped the "refuseniks" – the Soviet Jews who were refused permission to immigrate. Others participated in demonstrations and sent letters of petition to influential people on behalf of the Soviet and Syrian Jews.
1970s Soviet Union Aliyah, Wikipedia
History of the Jews in Syria, Post-1948, Wikipedia
What campaign is this poster promoting?
What is the origin of the quote "Let my people go"?
Which historical events are connected to this quote?
Why are the Syrian and Soviet flags shown on the poster?
Which freedom was denied to the Jewish people in these countries?
Discuss the design of the poster. Is it effective? Why or why not? Why is it also in English if it was published in an Israeli newspaper?
During the years when Jews in the USSR and Syria were denied the right to leave their country and immigrate to Israel, many Jews met in secret. In these meetings they planned how they would leave their country and dreamed about their new life in Israel. Imagine you all represent a small community of Russian Jews in the 1970s holding a secret meeting. You know that you are more powerful as a group than as individuals and that you must stick together and decide what to do. Stage a debate about whether you should fight for your rights in Russia or whether you should demand permission to move to Israel.