Gary Koren, Israel’s ambassador to Russia, criticized Moscow Thursday for obstructing the adoption of an international definition of anti-Semitism.
According to Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the definition would have been adopted by the intergovernmental Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which consists of 57 member states.
“The OSCE has attempted to determine a text, which ought to define what can be classified as anti-Semitism and what its working definition is,” Koren said, according to the Interfax news agency. “We are discussing this issue with the Russian Foreign Ministry and hope that Russia will adopt this definition in the future.”
Koren noted that Israel “is a Jewish country, therefore, we regard more sensitively manifestations of anti-Semitism across the world. We, as the Jewish country, enjoy the right to determine, what anti-Semitism is and what it is not.”
Jonathan Arkush, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, pointed out earlier this month that Russia was the only country not to have adopted the definition.
“All the other countries accepted the definition but Russia,” Arkush said at this year’s Limmud FSU Europe conference. “I expect we will see some diplomatic action on Israel’s part in the near future on this issue.”
An anti-Semitic incident occurred in January, when Pyotr Tolstoy, the deputy speaker of the Russian Parliament, suggested that Jews were behind efforts to transfer St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church.
“The people who are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who pulled down our temples, and jumped out from the Pale of Settlement to the revolver in 1917, today are working in very respectable places on the radio, in the legislatures, and continue the work of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers,” Tolstoy said.