Russia’s chief rabbi calls on Ukrainian Jews not to meddle in politics

Moscow, March 27, Interfax – Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar has advised Ukraine’s Jews not to get involved in politics.

“The Jewish communities should not offer any political advice to U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin or any other national leader, Lazar said in an interview with English-language Jewish media companies, when commenting on Ukrainian Jewish organizations’ recent address to the Russian president.

Lazar said that, in his opinion, such an approach is wrong.

Some Ukrainian Jews chose to support the Maidan regardless of the significant role that ultra-nationalistic and anti-Semitic parties and movements played in the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovich in Ukraine, Lazar said.

Several major anti-Semitic incidents, which caused serious concern among Jews worldwide, occurred during the recent unrest in Kiev and other regions of Ukraine, Lazar said.

Events similar to those that took place in Ukraine have not happened in Russia over the past 15 years, but the roots of anti-Semitism run deep in Ukraine, especially in some of its regions, Russia’s chief rabbi said.

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