Anti-Semitic Attacks Remain Constant in Number, More Violent in Nature in 2003

April 22, 2004

Source: Jerusalem Post

On April 22, 2004 the Jerusalem Post reported, "Anti-Semitic incidents in Russia, while not increasing in number, became more violent in 2003, according to an Anti-Defamation League report released this week. The report, 'Anti-Semitism in Russia: 2003,' noted that the increase in anti-Jewish attacks against individuals and institutions occurred as the Russian government made a concerted effort to confront the problem. 'It is encouraging that President Vladimir Putin has publicly denounced the nationalist ideology and has supported legal action against anti-Semitic publishers and skinheads,' said the director of the ADL's office in Moscow, Alexander Axelrod. 'At the same time, we are discouraged by the reluctance by lower-level officials to take action in responding to anti-Semitic incidents'...The government's prosecution of oligarchs, many Jewish, also appears to have bolstered anti-Semitism, the report stated. Among the most violent anti-Semitic incidents was the explosion of a bomb inside a Jewish kindergarten in Kaliningrad in September; an assault on a Jewish couple in Novosibirsk in June, and the stoning of a synagogue in Kostroma during High Holy Day services in October. In government, a rise in nationalist rhetoric during the 2003 campaign for the Duma and surprising victories for nationalist parties was noted, and lower-level officials' failure to oppose anti-Semitism to the same degree as the federal government was cited as a course of concern."