12 January 2006, 17:28
Attempt to ban Jewish organizations is comical - Federation official
Moscow, January 12, Interfax - The Federation of Russian Jewish Communities has described as comical the campaign launched by the Letter of 500, which demanded a ban on Jewish organizations from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office last year.
The first request to the Prosecutor General's Office was lodged in January 2005. Back then, 19 State Duma deputies signed on the letter. The number of signatures kept growing, first to 500, then to 5,000 and finally to 15,000. The collection of signatures goes on in the Internet.
"The campaign can be stopped only by legal action. In fact, a legal action is in progress, and it was initiated by authors of the letter rather than us. The number of defendants continues to increase. Now it is both Jewish organizations and the media covering the issue," head of the federation's public relations department Boruh Gorin told a Thursday press conference at the Interfax main office.
Gorin said the federation retained several lawyers, but they said "they have nothing to do, as it is a matter of maniacal ideas, and the whole legal action looks comical."
Meanwhile, the Nashi youth movement plans to hold pickets near the State Duma building and the offices of the Communist Party and Rodina later in the day to demand the expulsion of deputies who signed on the request to ban Jewish organizations in Russia.
"We suggest that Gennady Zyuganov take urgent steps and expel from the Communist Party people who signed on the notorious anti-Semitic appeal for a ban on all Jewish organizations in Russia," says a Nashi statement received by Interfax.
They made a similar suggestion to Rodina leader Dmitry Rogozin.
Nashi also said it is inadmissible to allow "fascists from the National Bolshevik Party of Eduard Limonov" to gather in Communist Party buildings.
Nashi protested against the Moscow synagogue attack and said they had visited the wounded in hospital "to apologize for the actions of fascists in Russia and offer assistance."