A European Jewish Congress delegation met today with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss areas of concern to the Jewish community. Issues raised during the discussion included the rise of Antisemitism and the threat of global terror, which is frequently aimed at Jewish targets.
While Jews were once again a prominent target for global terror during 2015, the attacks in Paris, the U.S., and elsewhere, and the mass murder of Russians on an airline in the Sinai, show that the terrorists target us all,” EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor said during the meeting. “Many, at the beginning of past year, felt if you were not a Jew or a cartoonist who drew pictures of Mohammed then you would not be harmed. However, this was proven wrong many times as the year progressed. As usual, what starts with the Jews never ends there.”
“Today, it is vital that all pragmatic nations of the world are united in defeating global terror, which is being led by the so-called Islamic State. A united and coordinated fight against terror is the only way to defeat it and we must put aside all other differences because last year showed that this is the greatest current threat to our societies.”
Dr. Kantor also spoke about the rise in threat to Jewish communities around the continent. “Statistically, the situation of the Jews in Europe is the worst it has been since the end of the Second World War and there is a very real prospect of an exodus of Jews from certain parts of Europe,” Dr. Kantor said. “It is not only the terror attacks against our communities, like in Toulouse, Brussels, Paris and Copenhagen, but a daily feeling of fear to walk in the streets as Jews, or the necessity to live behind thick security doors, cameras and high fences.”
“Nevertheless, we are glad to report that statistically Antisemitism in Russia has decreased and we hope that it will continue to decrease and commend the Russian authorities in the fight against those who target Jews.”
The delegation expressed its appreciation for the Russian Government's good relations with the Jewish community and the State of Israel, and noted the Russian role in the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The EJC is meeting and engaging with leaders of various nations under the mandate of the organization of which Russia is the largest and most populous, with the second largest Jewish community in Europe.
The European Jewish delegation comprised representatives from the communities of France, The United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland and Latvia.Wednesday, January 20, 2016