Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Strange and Unpleasant

Neeka's Backlog refers to this really unpleasant and deeply weird story from the Moscow News. Apparently some 20 Russian MPs (drawn from the batshit crazy Liberal Democrats of Vladimir Zhirinovsky but also the Communists and the "Motherland" group, which some claim is a front for the government) have signed a petition for the prohibition of "all" Jewish organisations on the grounds they were "extremists".

What is most alarming about this is this par:
"The MPs (representing the Communist faction, the nationalist Motherland party, and the radical Liberal Democrats) and about 500 other people, mostly journalists and editors of nationalist newspapers, called the Jewish religion “anti-Christian and inhumane, which practices extend even to ritual murders”.
Ye gods, ritual murder charges? What year is it? This can only be described as profoundly sick, but everything must be all right, because they took it back:
"A group of deputies from the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, has retracted a demand, sent earlier to the Prosecutor General’s Office, to ban all Jewish organizations in Russia.

One of the deputies who signed the open letter to the prosecutor general published in the Rus Pravoslavnaya newspaper, Aleksandr Krutov, retracted the petition. He added that the prosecution had not started to check the facts stated in the letter, Interfax news agency reported."
Well, almost all right. What is that line about not starting to check the facts actually meant to mean? That it's all OK because they didn't actually start looking for ritual murderers? Or that the prosecution (prosecutor?) really ought to have taken a closer look? (More details.) Ha'aretz has a story here that analyses this curious remark as referring to the fact that the courts prosecute persons accused of spreading anti-Semitism without inquiring into whether their propaganda is true. The likelihood of same may be judged from statements above.

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