Former chief rabbi of Moscow urges Jews to leave Russia ‘while they still can’

Image of Pinchas Goldschmidt in 2013. Credit: Wikipedia - By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland - Open forum: Is Religion Outdated in the 21st Century?: Pinchas GoldschmidtUploaded by January, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24261681

Jews should leave Russia ‘while they still can’ said Pinchas Goldschmidt, the exiled former Chief Rabbi of Moscow.

 

Pinchas Goldschmidt, the exiled former Chief Rabbi of Moscow, said he believed Jews should leave Russia ‘while they still can’, before they are made ‘scapegoats’ amid the armed conflict in Ukraine.

He believed that should things take a turn for the worse in the former Soviet territory, the Russian authorities could easily redirect the anger and discontent of the masses onto the Jewish community.

“When we look back on Russian history, whenever the political system was in danger, you saw how the government tried to redirect the anger and discontent of the masses to the Jewish community”, Mr Goldschmidt said in an interview with The Guardian.

He continued: “We saw this in tsarist times and at the end of the Stalinist regime. That’s why I think the best option for Russian Jews is to leave”.

“We’re seeing rising antisemitism while Russia is going back to a new kind of Soviet Union, and step by step the iron curtain is coming down again. This is why I believe the best option for Russian Jews is to leave”, he added.

Goldschmidt resigned as Chief Rabbi of Moscow on July 6 this year. He left Russia in March after he said he faced pressure for refusing to support the invasion of Ukraine.

“Pressure was put on community leaders to support the war and I refused to do so. I resigned because to continue as chief rabbi of Moscow would be a problem for the community because of the repressive measures taken against dissidents”, he insisted, as reported by kommersant.ru.

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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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