There is no anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Russia
The 'Protecting Future' International Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism, Racism and Xenophobia has opened in Moscow yesterday, it is attended by more than 600 experts from 37 countries. The plenary meeting was attended by government officials, leading Russian and foreign experts on this issue. According to numerous sociological studies, the level of anti-Semitism in Russia is among the lowest in the world today, and it is steadily declining.
"The tragedy that occurred on Saturday at a synagogue in Pittsburgh shows how relevant the conference is. It is clear that unreasonable anger and xenophobia have no borders," chairman of the organizing committee of the Protecting Future conference, head of the Russian Jewish Congress Yury Kanner said.
"There will be no anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Russia. The Russian authorities, together with civil society, will do everything necessary for this. At the same time, we are facing growing Russophobia, which is used by certain forces in the West, in some other states as a tool to deter Russia's development, countering the ongoing independent foreign policy, the policy of forming a multipolar world using the so-called Russian threat to intimidate. At the same time, there is open propaganda of hostility, even hatred against other peoples. The Nazis criminals and their accomplices are glorified in the places where the right to study and receive information in native language is limited. Especially the current Ukrainian authorities succeeded in it, who actually introduced this ideology into the level of official policy. And not just them. Zones of ethnic segregation and apartheid are actually created in the center of Europe. I mean giving the humiliating status of "non-citizens" to about 300,000 Russian-speaking people in Latvia and Estonia. These people are not only excluded from participation in politics, but also limited in a number of rights," Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said.
She called terrorism "the absolute evil of our time" and cited Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, who said during his last visit to Moscow: "To overcome the absolute evil, terrorism, the atmosphere in 1945 at the time of the meeting on the Elbe River must be renewed".
"It seems to me that this is very important - an atmosphere of trust. I want to believe that now, in the face of reviving ghosts of the past, people who consider themselves civilized will hear the voice of reason and conscience, will unite their efforts in protecting the common future," Matvienko said.
According to her, the parliamentary diplomacy's role in searching for answers to global challenges is significantly increasing today: "This is evidenced by the UN support for the initiative to hold a world conference on interreligious and inter-ethnic dialogue proposed by the Russian delegation during the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly last year St. Petersburg. A special resolution was adopted for this purpose by the UN General Assembly on May 22, 2018. We expect that the heads of state, heads of parliaments, leaders of all world religions will take part in the conference. We need such a dialogue."
The speaker of the Federation Council also recalled that the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on combating the glorification of Nazism in December last year, initiated by Russia among others. For its part, the Federation Council launched an initiative to recognize the victory over Nazism in World War II as the world heritage of mankind, and monuments to fighters against Nazism in all countries - as world memorials. "The first step could be to form a single international register of monuments to fighters against Nazism. It should certainly include memorial complexes at the sites of the Nazi death camps. We have no right to allow democracy, its principles and values to be used to cover the revival of Nazism and extremism. The opposition to them has been and will be an absolute priority of our policy," Matvienko assured.
According to the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Nationalities, Igor Barinov, "the elimination of discrimination is the most important social program aimed at enabling people in modern society to choose their professional path, develop their talents and abilities, and receive remuneration in accordance with their merits and achievements, regardless of their nationality, religion, color and so on. "
OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Lamberto Zannier designated the tools to combat the harmful phenomena: “We don’t pay proper attention to education. If we start doing this, the situation will improve. We cannot change all the horrors of the past, but the memory of them and the dialogue on this topic will allow us to overcome the trend towards anti-Semitism."
Within two days of the conference, it is also planed to discuss the interaction of government and civil society in the area of prevention of anti-Semitism and racism, problems of xenophobia in the Internet and the media, and much more.