15 October 2008, 14:23
Russian rabbi slams U.S. refusal to repeal Jackson-Vanik amendment
Moscow, October 15, Interfax - Russia's Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar has said he believes that Washington's delays in graduating Russia from the Jackson-Vanik amendment hurt the interests of the Jewish community and have political motives.
"We have had several meetings both with [U.S.] President George W. Bush and representatives of the U.S. Department of State. Our position is very clear. We believe that the American side made a big mistake when it refused to repeal these amendments. This step would have benefited the U.S. itself," Lazar said in an interview with the NG-Religii newspaper published on Wednesday.
A move to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment would demonstrate Washington's understanding and recognition of those increasingly serious changes that have taken place in Russia in the past two decades," the rabbi said.
Jews have been able "to emigrate and to freely travel to various countries and return home" for a long time, Lazar said. More than 100,000 people have returned from Israel to Russia, the rabbi said. "No one has forced them to return. It was their free choice," he said.
"But then the fundamental issue of free movements was suddenly replaced by economic interests for some unknown reasons. One started to tie the annulment of the amendment to the issue of American chicken imports to Russia. People and their spiritual freedom were placed on the same shelf with chicken! Russia received a signal: it could have been a political matter from the very beginning, not an issue driven by the desire to protect human rights," Lazar said.
"In my opinion, refusing to repeal the amendment harms the Jewish people. The result is that our cause was used for different purposes," he said.
- Muslim sheep slaughter to be banned in Moscow during Eid al-Adha feast 01 October 2014, 10:08
- Two prosecuted following police van incident near Moscow mosque 30 September 2014, 16:10
- Seven female Islamists apprehended in Kyrgyzstan 30 September 2014, 12:50
- Parishioners of the Moscow Mosque of the Council of Mufti attacked the police bus 29 September 2014, 15:50
- Russia picks Zvyagintsev's Leviathan for Oscar 29 September 2014, 10:08
- Police raid St. Petersburg Scientology church as part of fraud probe 29 September 2014, 10:06
- Up to 50,000 militants fight for Islamic State - Patrushev 26 September 2014, 12:04
- Two jailed in Azerbaijan for plotting mosque bombing 26 September 2014, 11:49
- Ukrainian Army occupied a church in Donetsk and fires from it 26 September 2014, 10:20
- Putin praises Russian Jews' role in consolidating interfaith harmony 26 September 2014, 10:07
- Ban on gay propaganda among minors doesn't restrict sexual minorities' rights - Russian Constitutional Court 26 September 2014, 10:05
- Israel ready to extradite Russian priest Grozovsky - source (updated) 25 September 2014, 18:11
- Patriarch Kirill hopes to visit Latvia 25 September 2014, 15:40
- The Menorah memorial desecrated with swastika in Babiy Yar 25 September 2014, 14:49
- Patriarch Kirill denies being vehicle of Kremlin policy 25 September 2014, 09:57
- Dissenters take over Orthodox church in Rovno Region of Ukraine 24 September 2014, 14:35
- Over 20,000 Hasidics arrive in Uman to celebrate New Year 24 September 2014, 14:15
- Hasidic pilgrims not afraid of traveling to Ukraine - border guards 24 September 2014, 10:50
- Russian religious leaders send anniversary greetings to Interfax 23 September 2014, 15:04
- Israeli embassy in Russia confirms Grozovsky detention 22 September 2014, 12:45
- State sovereignty is more important than camembert and jamon, leader of Russia's Jewish community believes 22 September 2014, 10:17
- Moscow to host Quran intl recitation contest on September 20 19 September 2014, 15:14
- Cross set up in Belgrade to commemorate defenders of the city during the First World War 19 September 2014, 11:12
- Ukrainian Army shells Donetsk monastery 18 September 2014, 16:53
- Russia and Vatican to hold art exhibition on Biblical themes 18 September 2014, 10:10
- Sts Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow decorated with a Japanese symbol 18 September 2014, 10:01
- Released Lugansk priest claims pilot Savchenko suggested to divide them to organs 17 September 2014, 10:22
- Ukrainian bishop believes the country's authorities Satanic 16 September 2014, 12:15
- Two Hizb ut-Tahrir activists detained in Kyrgyzstan 16 September 2014, 11:42
- War against Islamic State promises benefit to Russia - religious expert 16 September 2014, 11:33