2006-11-01 13:35:00

Russian chief rabbi supports ban on November 4 March

Moscow, November 1, Interfax - Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar has supported the Moscow mayor's decision to ban a so-called Russian March, slated for November 4, when Russian observes People's Unity Day.

"Today they shout 'Russia for the Russians' in Moscow, tomorrow Kazan will shout 'Tatarstan for the Tatars', and the day after tomorrow Grozny will shout 'Chechnya for the Chechens' and Yakutsk 'Yakutia for the Yakuts'. If the authorities allow all that, you could lose Russia," the rabbi said in a statement circulated in Moscow on Wednesday.

The action that radical nationalists planned in Moscow could "undermine the pillars of public order," he said.

"In addition, the authorities have some experience of communication with such demonstrators. Last time the organizers promised that the event would be peaceful, and in fact there were fistfights, and a number of people were injured and beaten. And this is inevitable because Russia is a multiethnic country," he said.

Lazar said he is sure that a patriot in a multiethnic country cannot be a nationalist, and "therefore nationalistic ideas are alien to the overwhelming majority of Russians."