In unusual criticism, Israeli envoy blames Russia for blocking international anti-Semitism definition
Israel’s ambassador in Moscow criticized Russia for blocking the international adoption of a definition of anti-Semitism, which he linked to a recent string of allegedly racist statements about Jews by Russian politicians.
Gary Koren made his unusual statement on anti-Semitism in Russia in an interview with Interfax, the news agency reported Wednesday. Koren singled out Russia for blocking the definition’s adoption by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an intergovernmental group of 57 member states.
“The OSCE has attempted to determine a text, which ought to define what can be classified as anti-Semitism and what its working definition is,” the envoy said. “We are discussing this issue with the Russian Foreign Ministry and hope that Russia will adopt this definition in the future.”
Israeli ambassadors to Russia rarely comment on issues that do not involve Israel and bilateral relations directly.
Koren’s statement came as confirmation to reports, including by the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush, that Russia was the only country blocking the adoption of the definition, which is controversial because it lists some forms of hate speech on Israel as an example of anti-Semitism….