Following an anti-Semitic tirade containing medieval conspiracy theories about Jews delivered by a politician from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s party, Rabbi Berel Lazar, chief rabbi and head of Chabad in Russia, called on the government to stamp out hate speech against Jews.
From the JTA:
Rabbi Berel Lazar’s appeal Friday to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was in reaction to the April 10 statement on Jews by Vladislav Vikhorev, a candidate for Putin’s United Russia who is running to be elected a state lawmaker in the Legislative Assembly of Chelyabinsk Oblast, a federal region located nearly 1,000 miles away from Moscow.
During a debate in the city of Chelyabinsk, Vikhorev said that Jews in the 1990s were behind a “Jewish revolution that put Russian sovereignty itself on the brink of extinction,” which he said was “a well-planned, well designed program of destruction of national culture, national education, national production and the national financial system,” according to the news website Apostroph.
“The Russian Jewish community is shocked by an anti-Semitic escapade by a candidate in the United Russia primaries,” wrote Lazar in an open letter to Medvedev that was released Friday. He condemned the local election committee’s decision to merely warn Vikhorev, a 67-yerar-old pensioner, instead of scrapping his candidacy.
Russian Jews are “even more astounded” by the committee’s decision than by Vikhorev’s words, Lazar said.