Russia's President, Chief Rabbi, Confirm Declining Anti-Semitism

Russia's President, Chief Rabbi, Confirm Declining Anti-Semitism

Moscow, Russia

December 2, 2009

( In a meeting last week with a delegation of Russia’s Jewish community, President Dmitry Medvedev noted that anti-Semitism in Russia seems to be waning.

"Anti-Semitism in our country is becoming much less prevalent. I would certainly not go so far as to say that the situation is ideal, but it has become known that anti-Semitism will simply not be tolerated in the political environment. No sane politician today would make any statements incriminating him in this manner.”

Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar led the delegation. He confirmed the President’s remarks, noting that the improvement in Russia is in stark contrast to its neighbors where the situation “has been deteriorating in many of the European countries, especially in recent years. It is now as bad as it was in Russia’s worst years.”

"That's not just my impression. I often meet with the leaders of international organizations which monitor anti-Semitic sentiment, and they see positive trends in this country,” the Chief Rabbi said.

In Russia, he noted, Jewish communities can today be counted in 200 cities, is flourishing. “Dozens of Jewish schools have opened over the past few years and new synagogues and community centers are build each year.

President Medvedev expressed support for the Jewish community’s plan to build a Russian Jewish Museum of Tolerance in Moscow. In response to Rabbi Lazar’s proposal that the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz (January 27) be recognized as a national holiday, the President said his administration will consider the matter.

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