Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Pandemic has Increased Xenophobia, Russian Jewish Congress Head Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 22 – Speaking to a Moscow conference on countering anti-Semitism and racism, Yury Kanner, head of the Russian Jewish Congress, said that the coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in xenophobia because that plague and efforts to counter it have produced new minorities against whom the hatred of others is being directed.

            “In connection with the pandemic, Kanner said “new minorities” like anti-vaxxers and pro-vaxxers” have emerged, tensions between them have increased, and many on each side feel hatred toward those on the other.  Such attitudes must be fought lest they spread (ria.ru/20211122/pandemiya-1760136921.html).

            The Russian Jewish leader said that often hostility toward one group becomes a breeding ground for hatred to others; and consequently, Jews who have so often been the default setting as far as such hatred is concerned must seek to prevent the situation around the pandemic from growing into something even worse.

            This is not the first time Russian Jewish leaders have warned that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a new outbreak of anti-Semitism. They did so at the start of the pandemic and again at the end of last year (nazaccent.ru/content/32878-evropejskij-evrejskij-kongress-pandemiya-koronavirusa-vyzvala.html).

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