In its annual survey of anti-Semitism in the world, the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University says that Komsomolskaya Pravda, the Moscow paper with Russia’s largest print run, and the Russia Today TV channel (and especially its English-language variant) “continue to be the main platforms for noxious anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda.”
The center notes that the number of victims of anti-Semitic crimes around the world continued to decline in 2016 but says that with the help of the media, anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli ideas have been spreading in groups both on the far-right and the far-left of the political spectrum.
Among the developments in Russia last year that the Kantor Center sees as particularly worrisome are anti-Semitic statements by senior politicians. In both cases, they were force to apologize; but the center’s researchers point out, those who spread vicious libels from the past – Petr Tolstoy and Vitaly Milonov – do not appear to have suffered as a result.
More seriously, the report continues, both Russian nationalists and some Russian media outlets now identify opposition figures as Jewish, and they spread fabricated stories about Jews and Israel in order to damage the reputations of both.
The Kantor Center study echoes the findings of Moscow’s SOVA research center which reported that there were very few violent attacks on Jews in Russia in 2016 but that “’anti-Semitic rhetoric was extremely prominent” in the media and public life, a worrisome development especially for the future.
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