Staunton, September 23 – Anna Narinskaya, the curator of the exhibit ‘Find the Jew’ now on display at the Solyanka gallery in Moscow, says there is no government anti-Semitism in Russia and that even the everyday kind is less in Russia than in many European countries because there is no hostility to Israel and because there are so few Jews left in Russia.
No Russian should deny that stereotypes about Jews continue to circulate in Russia, Narinskaya says; but they don’t all have negative consequences. One young Jewish woman she knows was even promoted because her boss believed that “your people are good with numbers” (newizv.ru/article/general/23-09-2020/vopros-dnya-suschestvuet-li-antisemitizm-v-sovremennoy-rossii).
But she argues that the major reason for the decline in anti-Semitism in Russia as compared to anti-Semitism in Europe is not only that there are so few Jews left outside of the capitals but that “there are no total anti-Israel attitudes” of the kind widely shared by Western intellectuals and people on the left.”
These attitudes, Narinskaya argues, simultaneously “camouflage” anti-Semitism and spread it because in the West, many on the left feel that they can say things about Israel that they would never dream of saying about Jews as such. That isn’t the case in the Russian Federation today, she insists.
And she concludes that “in present-day France and even in English, anti-Semitism is now greater than in present-day Russia. It is very strange for me to write that,” she says; “but that is how things are.”
Today, the Levada Center released the results of a survey about xenophobic attitudes in Russia. It found that hostility among Russians to Jews was far lower than hostility toward and a sense of social distance from Chinese, Chechens, Africans and Ukrainians (levada.ru/2020/09/23/ksenofobiya-i-natsionalizm-2/).