2017-08-08 10:00:00

Russian Jews appalled by reproaches of trying to monetize Holocaust tragedy

Moscow, August 8, Interfax - The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) views the words of Yury Bondarenko, the director of the Russian-Polish Dialogue Center, who had said the Jewish people take "the mellowest and profitable place in every sense," monetizing the Holocaust tragedy and "dividing the spheres of influence" with the Armenians, as an insult.

"It's regrettable that the head of a government organization responsible for establishing contacts between the peoples is voicing arguments on the Jews' and the Armenians' aspirations to monetize their tragedy. Such words are insulting to two nations that had fallen victims to horrendous reprisals," the FJCR's press service cited Boruch Gorin, the head of its public relations department, as saying.

Such statements "demonize the Jews and the Armenians in the eyes of their neighbors, presenting them as soulless monsters willing to forget about the tragedy of their people for money, undermine the interethnic and interfaith accord in Russia and constitute its opponents a reason to claim that xenophobia's revival is allegedly taking place at the state level in Russia," Gorin said.

The FJCR representative said he hopes that the Russian authorities will take necessary measures to ensure that "such statements imbued with national hatred continue to remain a marginal phenomenon in the country."

Last week, Russian-Polish Dialogue Center director Bondarenko commented on the historical discourse in the policy of current Polish authorities in his own way in an interview with the E-Vesti magazine.

"The Polish elite are to a great extent, predominately, disposed in such way that the Poles' identification is rewriting history, which should result in making the Poles the most discriminated nation ever. At least, in Europe. One can monetize every tragedy in a very beneficial way, if they wish, and receive all sorts of compensations from Germany and many others. To put it bluntly, the Poles are claiming to take the place, which is currently taken by the Jews. [...] Namely the Jews were asked to vacate the seat of the king of the hill. Although O. Henry had said that Bolivar cannot carry double, it already did, the Armenians joined the Jews. They shared [the spheres of influence] and have been fine to date," he said.