2019-03-18 11:05:00

Estonian PM calls chief rabbi to express support, condemns anti-Semitic verbal attack on him

Tallinn, March 18, Interfax - Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas has condemned an anti-Semitic verbal attack on Chief Rabbi Shmuel Kot.

"I categorically condemn the verbal attack on Estonia's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Kot, which took place yesterday. There is no place in the Republic of Estonia for discrimination on the grounds of religion, nationality, origin or any other basis," Ratas said on Facebook on Sunday.

The premier said he assured the chief rabbi in a telephone call that "the incitement of enmity and hatred are unacceptable, and there must always be the most serious reaction to such conduct."

Urmas Viilma, the Archbishop of Tallinn and Primate of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, also sent an open letter to Rabbi Shmuel Kot to support him and apologize for the incident.

It was reported on Facebook that, while Shmuel Kot and his children were on their way to a synagogue for a Shabbat service on Saturday, a man approached them and started uttering anti-Semitic and Nazi statements in the Estonian language.

This has been the first such incident in many years that the rabbi has stayed in Estonia. Police have started an investigation.