2018-04-12 13:36:00

Russia rids itself of anti-Semitic image, but Jews blamed for 1917 revolution, Russian Internet full of anti-Semitic content report

Tel Aviv, April 12, Interfax - Manifestations of hostility toward Jews in Russia in 2017 became more prominent, even though the country has been able to get rid of its anti-Semitic image in general, the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University said in its annual report.

"The situation in Russia in the Jewish context is two-sided. On one hand, it seems that Russia was able to shake off the anti-Jewish image that has characterized it for centuries: Jewish organizations are freely active, Jews can study in any academic institute they wish, Jews occupy senior positions in public and state systems, and there is no restriction on immigration to other countries," the report says.

"On the other hand, the anti-Semitic trends that began to emerge in recent years, and generally characterized the public and political margins, gradually entered more central circles and became more prominent in 2017," it said.

For instance, the Jews were accused on several occasions, including by some State Duma deputies, of being responsible for the 1917 revolution and for the "ritual murder" of the Tsarist family, it said.

"The involvement of the Jews in the revolution was a central topic in public discourse. Two TV series were dedicated to central figures in the Communist Party: Alexander Parvus (Israel Gelfand) and Lev Trotsky (Lev Bronshtein). Both series presented the events of that time as a Jewish conspiracy that caused the overthrow of the old Russian regime," the report says.

Only two incidents of vandalism were reported in Russia in 2017. One of them was committed in the early hours of July 12, when unidentified persons threw a stone at a synagogue in Kostroma, and the other in the early hours of September 12, when three Molotov cocktails were thrown at the offices of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia in the Maryina Roshcha neighborhood of Moscow, it said.

"The Holocaust is still being referred to as a part of a much wider genocide and not as a unique phenomenon," the report said.

"The Russian Internet is full of anti-Semitic content which is being published almost without any interference by the law enforcement agencies. Authorities rarely intervene, usually only when a private individual uploads anti-Semitic content on his personal page on one of the social networks. However, even then, for the most part, the punishment is mild (small fine) and is not deterrent, and the issue is not being dealt with on the national level at all," the report says.