ADL Welcomes Russian Government Response to Accusations Against Jews
Moscow, January 26, 2005…The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the Russian Foreign Ministry's speedy response to an anti-Semitic letter signed by nationalist and Communist members of the parliament accusing the Russian Jewish community of inciting ethnic hatred and being responsible for anti-Semitism.
The lawmakers have since withdrawn the letter. They had appealed to the Russian Prosecutor General for an investigation of Jewish organizations with the goal of making them illegal. The petitioners claimed that Jews were responsible for the perpetration of anti-Semitic acts and the very existence of anti-Semitism.
"The speedy response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to clearly state that the anti-Semitic expressions in the letter were not those of the official government, is an important message," said Alexander Axelrod, Director of ADL's Moscow Office. He urged the Russian government to "actively work together with non-governmental organizations to combat anti-Semitism and xenophobia and to promote tolerance in every region of Russia."
Mr. Axelrod also urged that, "Those who signed the letter be identified and punished."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.