Once again we are left with the excruciating and mournful realization of the ruthlessness of an illness which can take away anyone at any time. It is clear that everybody can find his personal examples of beloved people who are snatched from life, whether they be children who have not even begun to fulfill their potential, continuing through to older people who could have lived longer in these modern times.

      Yura was one of us – Aliya activist, refusenik, who early on became aware of the necessity to leave that country, which did not want to give up her role of a wicked stepmother, in order to live in another country which – whatever her drawbacks are – could, by definition, only be seen as our Motherland. He succeeded in getting his wish but in the process he also had his share of suffering – being ostracized when he declared, for the first time, his desire to go to Israel, living the life of a refusenik outcast, being constantly under the eye of the authorities, as personified by the police and the KGB, and then overcoming the severities of getting accustomed to the new country and fitting himself into it – which not everyone succeeded in doing.

       But he DID succeed, and brilliantly too. Without mincing words, it happens to be very unusual to find in our Knesset somebody you can name a knight without fear and without reproach – but Yuri was such a man and naturally so. He did not set this as his goal intentionally – he simply WAS such a man and could be no other way. One has to understand and to feel deeply this fact – a new immigrant not only became a member of the highest legislative body of our country - which is in itself no mean achievement - but he succeeded in exemplifying honesty, integrity and devotion to his duties. Statistics of the members of Knesset activities shows that he was not only among the most active legislators but also succeeded in getting many of his bills into law.

      There is yet another way in which he made his mark: he was very effective in giving help to constituents who applied to him with their personal problems. He served as a good example for all the other members of Knesset in this field too, in that he never made impractical promises; if he agreed to help he did his utmost best to get results.

      And now he has left us…

      But each one of us will remember him until we draw our last breath.

Members of the Remember and Save Association
January 17, 2007
Haifa, Israel