The Russian Dark Ages

The Jewish Week writes in an unsigned editorial:

… Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to consolidate his power and snuff out feeble flickers of democracy. Dissent is dangerous, a fact that may underlie the bizarre case of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, fatally poisoned in London with a rare radioactive substance, only weeks after the murder of a fearless journalist who wrote of trauma in Chechnya. [And now, another Putin critic has apparently been poisoned.] And with it, ultra-nationalism is on the rise, inevitably producing a rise in anti-Semitic incidents.

Right now, the primary targets of the ascendant ultra-nationalists are people from Central Asia and the Caucusus, but it would be folly to assume that Russia’s Jews will somehow be immune.

A Russia swimming in oil and gas profits wants to play a bigger role on the world scene, but more often than not, Putin’s foreign policy contributes to conflict and instability, not peace.

Russia, a major supplier of nuclear technology to Tehran, continues to thwart international efforts to slow that country’s quest for nuclear weapons. The surface-to-air missiles Russia is sending to Iran might someday be used to shoot down American or Israeli planes seeking to achieve what diplomacy failed to do.

A battered, beset Bush administration has been too willing to ignore Russia’s descent from democracy and its increasingly disruptive role on the international scene. That needs to change — for the sake of U.S. interests around the world and for the minorities that will inevitably suffer if Russia returns to the traditionally toxic mix of authoritarian rule and ultra-nationalism.

Only a handful of Jewish groups — led by NCSJ, a human rights group dealing with the former Soviet Union — are closely following ominous developments in Russia. That, too, needs to change if we are to protect a large and endangered Russian Jewish community that could be standing at the brink of a new dark age.

And the religious group that gives Vladimir Putin diplomatic and moral cover? Chabad, the very same group of dancing rabbis and cholent eaters so many of you love.

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10 Comments

Filed under Chabad Theology, Court Jews & Quislings

10 responses to “The Russian Dark Ages

  1. Ma Rabbi

    The murder of Litvinenko by Putins henchmen is good reason for Lazar not to dare criticize Putin. You can criticize Bush on your blog and nothing will happen to you. If lazar were to criticize Putin, he would be endangering his own life, that of his family, and the lives of 3 million Jews still living in Russia.

  2. Generally, Chabad tries to avoid taking political sides outside Israel. If you expect Rabbi Lazar to criticize Putin, do you also expect the Chabad of Beijing to criticize the occupation of Tibet by China?

    We have always been the poeple of justice, but for our own safety, sometmies speaking out is not a good idea.

  3. Try reading the entire article I linked in the comment above yours.

  4. The Jewish community of Russia, of which I happen to be part of, expects nothing else from this unabashed whore. One rabbi (an Orthodox one) observed that Lazar wouldn’t probably be averse to tolerating even violent expressions of anti-Semitism, if Putin told him to.

    The only organization that dares to speak out is the Russian Jewish Congress (KEROOR). And the rabbi who speaks out most is a Reform one.

  5. Anonymous

    avoiding political criticism is one thing (even that may sometimes be needed to call more attention bto antisemitic assaults) that may be defensible sometimes; but licking this guy’s … and praising him to high heavens is actually tantamount to being a partner with this wicked indiividual. Lubavitchers would aways criticize in the past the “rabbonim mitaam”…

  6. Yannichka

    First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Communist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up,
    because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left
    to speak up for me.

  7. Shmarya-
    Thanks for the link, Shmarya. I can accept Rabbi Lazar’s actions as possibly unethical, but not criminal. Rabbi Lazar’s support of the ruling party in Russia is similar to the remaining Iranian Jewish leaders in their public support of the Ahmadinejad regime. That’s how things are in totalitarian regimes. You either work with the ruling party, or find yourself dead.

    Do you care to comment on this example?

  8. Lazar helped put Outin in power. Lazar helped create the neo-Stalinism now gripping Russia. He is not an innocent bystander.

  9. Jath

    russia and all things slavik, slavonik, that of it’s jews, it’s oligarchs, it’s jewish oligarchs, it’s chossids oligarchs, are allllll bad news.

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