Jewish Agency Faces Closure in Russia

(JNS) David Isaac - The Jewish Agency, which helps Jews immigrate to Israel, is continuing to operate as a Moscow court is set to hold a trial on its dissolution on Aug. 19. Since the outbreak of the war on Ukraine in February, 19,100 Russians have immigrated to Israel, up from 7,733 in 2021. "The general view is more and more inclined to see this as part of the general crackdown by Russian authorities on civil society," an Israeli government source said. "Hundreds of NGOs and associations have been shut down by Russian authorities since the outbreak of the war if they were considered to have some connection or relation to Western countries, or if they were considered not patriotic enough and not supportive enough of the war effort." Speaking at the Jerusalem Press Club on Aug. 1, former Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky said, "The less democratic Russia becomes, the more they will need scapegoats, the more they'll stop the openly sympathetic attitude to Israel, the easier it will be in the street to respond to old prejudices. At the moment, Jews are not the most hated group. They [the Russians] have the Ukrainians. They have the people from Kaukaz [the Caucuses]. They have many others to hate. But can [anti-Semitism] come back? For sure, and very quickly."

2022-08-07 00:00:00

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