Thursday, November 2, 2023

Anti-Semitic Outrages Like Those in Daghestan More Likely to Spread to Moscow than to Other Centers in North Caucasus, Israeli Ethnographer Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 31 – The outrages that occurred at the Makhachkala airport and at the hotel in Khasavyurt, Velvl Tchernin says, are far more likely to occur in Moscow or other Russian cities than it is in the North Caucasus outside of Daghestan where the spread of Islamism and the presence of a significant number of Jews makes that a possibility.

            The reason for that conclusion, the Russian-born ethnographer at Jerusalem’s Institute for Eurasian Jewish Research, says, lies not in the distant past but rather in the spread of Islamism in the region (

            Evidence of this is clear, Tchernin continues. In Nalchik, for example, posters featured the slogan “Death to Jehudis,” with those taking part even when they were writing in Russian using not the Russian-language word for Jews but the Arabic name for them. “That is, the roots of this anti-Semitism lie in Islamic anti-Zionism” rather than in hostility to Jews as such.

            That ideology “denies to the Jewish people the right of self-determination and considers that any crimes against Jews are legitimate” while insisting that any resistance by Jews is “illegitimate” since they are people of the book and have the right to live as a protected minority within an Islamic state.

            Moreover, the Russian-Israeli analyst continues, if Jews in that subordinate position do revolt and try to claim special rights for themselves, then this should “offend any Muslim and automatically convert the country where this takes place into the dar ul harb” (usually translated as “the abode of war”).

            Islamist anti-Zionism, Tchernin says, is more likely to manifest itself in places like Daghestan where there are many Jews living alongside Muslims than in Chechnya where there are almost no Jews and thus more likely to happen in Moscow where “by the way, there are more mountain Jews than there are” in that north Caucasian republic.

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