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European Jewish Congress president says another exodus of Jews from Europe is possible

The prospect of Jews' exodus from certain parts of Europe is real, Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, told Russian President Vladimir Putin who met the European Jewish Congress representatives at a meeting on Tuesday.

Kantor drew Putin's attention to the growing number of threats the Jewish communities have been receiving in the European continent. "Statistically, the position of Jews in Europe is the worst since the end of WWII. The prospect of Jewish exodus from certain parts of Europe is quite real," Kantor said.

"It's not just terror attacks against our communities, say, in Toulouse, Brussels, Paris or Copenhagen. It is a daily sense of fear, because of which we are afraid of walking the streets of cities in the countries we live without hiding that we are Jews. It is the need to live behind thick doors and high fences under the surveillance of video cameras in search of protection," the president of the European Jewish Congress stressed. Moshe Kantor noted that unlike in Europe the level of anti-Semitism in Russia has decreased and expressed the hope that it would continue declining.

"We would like to thank the Russian leadership for waging a struggle against those who have chosen Jews as their target," Kantor said.

The European Jewish Congress holds meetings and interacts with the leaders of various counties in accordance with the organization's mandate. Russia, which has the biggest Jewish community in Europe, is the biggest and most broadly represented member of the European Jewish Congress.

Moscow considers the European Jewish Congress to be a natural ally in the struggle against anti-Semitism, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Moshe Kantor and other members of the European Jewish Congress at the meeting on Tuesday.

"We consider your organization, one of the most representative non-governmental organizations in Europe, to be Russia's natural ally in the struggle against xenophobia, anti-Semitism and manifestation of extreme views," the Russian president said at a meeting with representatives of the European Jewish Congress.

"We certainly regard you as our direct allies in preserving the memory of WWII, which was disastrous for all humanity, and about the Holocaust," Putin said.

The Russian president thanked the representatives of the European Jewish Congress, including its President Moshe Kantor, for counteracting the glorification of Nazism openly, clearly and without any hesitation.

Kantor told Putin about the scale of anti-Semitism in Europe. "And yet, I do not think that the situation there is that bad," he said. "It is the worst since WWII as you say," Putin added.

Speaking about the position of Jews in Russia, Putin noted their active participation in the country's cultural and religious life. Putin believes that the handover of the famous Schneerson Library to the Moscow-based Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre will enable anybody who wants to get acquainted with the Library's treasures and will put an end to the controversy, which previously arose over that valuable historical collection. The Russian president also remembered that a new synagogue had recently opened in Moscow's Rublevka district. "I will go and see it," Putin said adding he had already seen the religious centre's photos.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 20Jan16]

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small logoThis document has been published on 11Jan16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.