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.
- Russian Church urges world to stop terror, protect Christians in Middle East 27 February 2015, 17:41
- Orthodox travelers from Russia to cross Sahara 27 February 2015, 17:16
- Russia outlaws ISIL, Muslim Brotherhood - FSB 27 February 2015, 15:47
- Some one million Jews live in Russia 27 February 2015, 10:02
- Patriarch Kirill considers discussions in social nets the vanity fair 27 February 2015, 10:01
- FJCR's position on outcome of WWII deserves deep respect - Medvedev 26 February 2015, 16:51
- Jews feel more comfortable in Russia than in Europe - Berl Lazar 26 February 2015, 16:00
- Putin congratulates Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia on its 15th anniversary 26 February 2015, 15:58
- Russia condemns Islamic State's abduction of Syrian Christians 26 February 2015, 10:01
- Russia is the only center of non-slaved civilization, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin believes 25 February 2015, 17:58
- Moscow to host most representative Jewish congress in 15 years 25 February 2015, 16:32
- Ukrainian schismatic leader dies 25 February 2015, 14:51
- Tajik seized in Moscow on suspicion of online ISIL propaganda 25 February 2015, 11:45
- Leviathan producers lack an ability to guess tastes of Oscar organizers - Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin 24 February 2015, 15:29
- Radical religious group members detained in Azerbaijan 24 February 2015, 12:57
- Patriarch Kirill calling for world order based on Christian values 24 February 2015, 10:00
- Russian, Austrian public, religious figures to discuss situation of European Jews 20 February 2015, 17:50
- Ukrainian authorities only have to accuse the Pope of subversive activities 20 February 2015, 17:45
- No information on fate of Christian leaders abducted in Syria in 2013 20 February 2015, 10:02
- ISIS militants demonize Islam in world's eyes - Patriarch Kirill 19 February 2015, 16:47
- Jewish shrine desecrated in Ukraine 19 February 2015, 15:02
- MPs are interested in Scientologists' work in Petersburg 19 February 2015, 12:59
- Buddhist organizations have important role in Russian public life - Putin 19 February 2015, 12:01
- Metropolitan tells Poroshenko that Orthodox churches are being seized illegally 19 February 2015, 10:05
- Attempt to seed panic, hatred behind murders of Copts in Libya - Patriarch Kirill 18 February 2015, 10:48
- Kazakh leader warns against associating terrorism with traditional Islam 17 February 2015, 15:39
- Patriarch Kirill hopes Minsk accords lead to peace in Ukraine 17 February 2015, 12:49
- Attempt made to rob Russian convent in Jerusalem 17 February 2015, 10:02
- Berl Lazar calls for all countries to unite in fight against terrorism 16 February 2015, 17:06
- Copt killings in Libya shows barbaric essence of ISIL - Russian Foreign Ministry 16 February 2015, 13:54