Staunton, March 23 – Whenever anything horrific happens, as now with the coronavirus, ignorant and uneducated people all too often seek a single explanation and many of them seek to blame a specific group of people, all too often the Jews, Rabbi Yury Kanner, the president of the Russian Jewish Congress, warns in a comment entitled “The Virus of Xenophobia.”
Kanner speaks about the increasing cases in Turkey and Iran who blame Israel and the Jews for the coronavirus, an observation that others involved in the fight against anti-Semitism and xenophobia confirm (echo.msk.ru/blog/y_kanner/2612749-echo/ and lechaim.ru/news/evrej-i-izrail-stali-osnovnymi-mishenyami-ksenofobii-svyazannoj-s-epidemiej-koronavirusa-preduprezhdaet-nemetskij-upolnomochennyj-po-borbe-s-antisemitizmom/).
But given that xenophobia and its most noxious form, anti-Semitism, has all too often been the default setting among Russians whenever there is a problem, it is unlikely that the rabbi made his comments about foreign countries without an eye to the danger that what has happened before could happen again.
Others are worried about that – see newizv.ru/article/general/15-03-2020/vpered-v-proshloe-koronavirus-vozrozhdaet-mrakobesie-i-totalitarnye-praktiki – but so far except among the most extreme groups who invariably blame the Jews, there is little evidence that there has been an uptick in this ancient hatred there yet.
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