2017-02-15 10:07:00

Israel to discuss anti-Semitism definition with Russia to avoid interpretations of word's meaning in future - Israeli ambassador

Moscow, February 15, Interfax - Israeli Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren hopes that Russia will determine the definition of the word 'anti-Semitism' to avoid different interpretations of this word.

"The OSCE has attempted to determine a text, which ought to define what can be classified as anti-Semitism 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, and then this issue will be clarified for people who try to justify themselves by saying that their statements allegedly hold no insult to the Jews," the ambassador told Interfax, commenting on State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov's recent statement.

As reported, deputy Milonov said in conclusion of the sacred procession around St. Isaac's Cathedral: "Christians survived despite that fact that the ancestors of [members of the St. Petersburg's Legislative Assembly] Boris Lazarevich Vishnevsky and Maxim Lvovich Reznik had boiled us in cauldrons and fed us to animals."

"Israel is a Jewish country, therefore, we regard more sensitively manifestations of anti-Semitism across the world. We, as the Jewish country, enjoy the right to determine, what anti-Semitism is and what it is not," Koren said.

"People who live in Russia and on the European continent and not only there, have some barometer, which quite easily gives a definition, if the statement is addressed to certain people due to their ethnic identity, the 'fifth article', as it used to be in the Soviet Union," the ambassador said.

Before the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Holocaust, Israel has officially adopted the definition of anti-Semitism on the basis of the International Alliance of the Remembrance of the Holocaust Victims working definition: "Anti-Semitism is a specific idea about the Jews, which can be expressed in hatred towards them. Verbal and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed against the Jews or the non-Jews and/or their property, Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

The definition recognized that the expressions of anti-Semitism can also involve the attacks on the State of Israel, when it is presented as a Jewish collective (criticism of Israel similar to criticism of any other country's actions is not anti-Semitic).