European Jewish Congress
Israeli ambassador slams Russia for blocking international definition of antisemitism
Russian Federation
Israeli ambassador slams Russia for blocking international definition of antisemitism

Israel’s ambassador in Moscow criticised Russia for blocking the international adoption of a definition of antisemitism, an act which he linked to a recent string of allegedly racist statements about Jews by Russian politicians.

Gary Koren’s statement on antisemitism in Russia was in an interview for Interfax, the news agency reported on Wednesday, in which he singled out Russia for blocking the definition’s adoption by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“The OSCE has attempted to determine a text, which ought to define what can be classified as antisemitism and what its working definition is. We are discussing this issue with the Russian Foreign Ministry and hope that Russia will adopt this definition in the future,” Koren said.

Israeli ambassadors to Russia rarely comment on issues that do not involve Israel and its bilateral relations with Russia directly.

His statement confirmed reports, including that of the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush, that Russia was the only country blocking the adoption of the definition.

“All the other countries accepted the definition but Russia,” Arkush revealed during an address on February 4 at the Limmud FSU Europe conference on Jewish learning in London. “I expect we will see some diplomatic action on Israel’s part in the near future on this issue,” Arkush added.

In the Interfax interview, Koren added an apparent reference to a recent spate of incidents involving Russian politicians who used what critics regard as antisemitic hate speech.

Russia’s endorsement of the definition “will be clarified for people who try to justify themselves by saying that their statements allegedly hold no insult to the Jews,” Koren said.

The definition that reportedly is being blocked by Russia resembles the one recently adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – an intergovernmental agency of 31 Western nations.

Click here to read the full article in Arutz Sheva

Thursday, February 16, 2017
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Life in Israel
  • Massive section of Western Wall and Roman theatre uncovered after 1,700 years
    Archaeologists are one step closer to solving the riddle of what took place in Jerusalem following the destruction of the city by Romans in 70 CE.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Massive section of Western Wall and Roman theatre uncovered after 1,700 years
  • Israel targets fashion industry over underweight models
    Israeli lawmakers want to tighten a ban on the employment of underweight models and on the undeclared digital slimming-down of fashion images, amid concern that the measures are being routinely flouted even as they are adopted abroad.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Israel targets fashion industry over underweight models
  • Work on Israel-Cyprus-Greece electricity link to start in 2018
    A Cypriot official said work on an electric cable linking the power grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece is on track to start in the first quarter of 2018 after Greek and Cypriot regulators approved the project.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Work on Israel-Cyprus-Greece electricity link to start in 2018
  • In Israel, ultra-Orthodox women emerge as high-tech entrepreneurs
    While Silicon Valley is just beginning to confront decades of sexism and discrimination, female founders in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community say their segregated gender roles have an unintended benefit -- encouraging growing ranks of women entrepreneurs.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 In Israel, ultra-Orthodox women emerge as high-tech entrepreneurs
  • First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
    Construction of the first fully disabled-accessible synagogue in Jerusalem is about to be finished, giving disabled worshipers easy access to the compound, with comfortable seating arrangements for wheelchair-bound visitors, Braille bibles and more.

    On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
  • Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
    A poll of Israeli Arabs has found that sixty percent surveyed said they had a favourable view of the state, while 37% said their view was unfavourable.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
  • Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
    Trade between Israel and Russia has grown this year by 25 percent, officials from both countries revealed, amid complications with other Russian trading partners.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
  • Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
    The Israel Innovation Authority aims to double the number of high-tech workers in the country over the next decade, while encouraging companies in older industry to use more technology and become more innovative, the authority said in its annual report released on Sunday.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
  • 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
    A shipment of 20,000 date palm fronds were transported on Monday from the Gaza Strip to Israel where they were to be sold for use in a traditional Jewish religious ritual during the coming Sukkot holiday, the Defence Ministry said.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
  • Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
    The Israeli intelligence community has shared information with other countries over the past two years that has helped thwart dozens of terror attacks about to be perpetrated by Islamists who were in contact with members of Islamic State and Middle Eastern factions identified with Al-Qaida.

    On Thursday, September 28, 2017 Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism