EWS, WHO MAY BE PRINTED FROM RUSSIA, ESCAPE TO ISRAEL - ATİLLA DUYAR

EWS, WHO MAY BE PRINTED FROM RUSSIA, ESCAPE TO ISRAEL


After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the 
overthrow of the Communist Party power in 
Moscow, great efforts were made to gather the 
Jewish community, improve their conditions and 
develop their cultural assets.
But this year, two weeks after the war with Ukraine 
began, Rabbi Goldschmidt and his family left Russia, 
first to Hungary and then to Israel. After leaving the 
country, he resigned as Chief Rabbi and made 
statements critical of the war.
"I needed to show that I did not accept the invasion of 
Ukraine in any way, but I would have put myself in 
danger if I did that while I was living in Moscow," he 
said.
But a section of the Jewish community in Russia 
criticized Goldschmidt for speaking when he left the 
country and said that these statements could make the 
community a target in general. But Goldschmidt says 
he has the support of the majority.
"Some of them said, 'How could you leave us here?' 
"I got messages asking. But the vast majority gave 
very strong support. Deciding to leave the country 
was not an easy decision. For me and my wife, the 
community was our whole life," he says.
As a result, thousands of Jews left the country in the 
footsteps of Goldschmidt, who thought that staying in
the country and taking a critical stance would put the 
community in greater danger.
Most of those who left used the opportunity to go to 
Israel.
Israel's "Law of Return" grants citizenship to anyone 
who can prove at least one grandparent was Jewish.
"I thought for a while why there was such a rushed 
exodus, because there wasn't such a big increase in 
anti-Semitism," says Anna Shternshis, an expert on 
Hebrew and Jewish history in Russia at the 
University of Toronto, Canada. and it is stated that it 
is caused by unnecessary statements made by the 
Israeli state.
“But when I look at it later as a historian, I realized 
that whenever there was a change, a social upheaval 
in Russia, the Jews were always in danger,” he 
continues, giving examples from history.
"This fear doesn't move everyone, but every Jew in 
Russia is thinking about it today," says Professor 
Shternshis, a Jew who was born and raised in Russia.
“In Russia, the authorities are not very clear and have 
a bad disposition: Jews are one of the segments they 
target in their propaganda. Traditionally, we are a 
very useful society when an internal enemy is sought. 
My great-grandparents have suffered in the past,” he 
says.
"Suddenly you see this on the news and you're 
asking, 'What step is going to follow this?'. We think 
we're not safe, that we might lose our job or go to 
jail. Things are starting to get very scary," he says.
This situation seems to give Russia a great headache 
in the coming years.

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