Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Moscow Synagogue Bombed After Neo-Nazi Verdict

Shul attack, murder of immigrants, and the Dutch Kosher ban

Print Email
Members of an ultra-nationalist group accused of murdering 27 members of ethnic minorities as they stand in court in Moscow, on July 11, 2011. The group chanted neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic slogans and jeered at the judge on several occasions on July 11 as he started reading out his verdict.(DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images)

A day after five neo-Nazis were convicted of murdering twenty-seven migrants, four masked men firebombed a Moscow Chabad Synagogue. Nobody was harmed as the bombs failed to detonate and only did light damage to the walls.

Moscow police believe that the attack on Darkei Shalom synagogue were retaliation for the previous days verdict. The five gang members were found guilty in the murder of twenty-seven migrants from southern Muslim republics and the Central Asian states, but entering the courtroom, they shouted anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi slogans.

There isn’t much doubt that since the bad old days, Russia’s Jews are flourishing. As U.S. Ambassador John Beyre wrote in a 2009 cable (subsequently released by Wikileaks), Russia has shown “clear signs of throwing off its long and tragic history of anti-Semitism.” But that progress, which Beyre cautioned could be fragile, and the progress of the Russian Jewish community since the fall of the Soviet Union, was partly possible because, as Julia Ioffe explained in Tablet Magazine, “the target of nationalist discrimination shifted from the Jews—most of whom had left—to migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia.”

Somehow, though, Jews keep getting hit, shifts or not. After all, in European countries like the Netherlands, which just passed an anti-ritual slaughter bill, far-right parties keep managing to harm smaller Jewish populations with legislation targeted at Muslim immigrants. Most likely many of the proponents see Jews as acceptable “collateral damage” in their mission, but it’s hard to imagine that there aren’t a few, like the Russian neo-Nazis would, who see it as a happy accident.

“Antisemitism has been a part of Russian culture for such a long time,” noted Beyre in 2009. “It would be unrealistic to expect it to disappear overnight.”

Synagogue Attacked After Neo-Nazi Verdict [Australia Broadcasting Corporation]
Six Firebombs Thrown At Moscow Synagogue In Suspected Anti-Semitic Act [Haaretz]
Neo-Nazi Gets Life For 27 Murders [Australia Broadcasting Corporation]
Dutch Anti-Ritual Slaughter Ban Passes [JPost]
In Dutch Schehitah Ban, Jews See A Sign They Are Unwanted [JTA]

Earlier: Cable Reports Lower Russian Anti-Semitism
Related: Royal Wedding
Kosher Rules

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

FreeMind says:

blah, blah. The fact is that except for some Ultra-Orthodox Chabadniks, Russian Jews, even in their diaspora, are more secular and “Russian” than non-Jewish Russians…


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Moscow Synagogue Bombed After Neo-Nazi Verdict

Shul attack, murder of immigrants, and the Dutch Kosher ban

More on Tablet:

Blum’s Day

By Yale University Press (Sponsored) — Sociologist Pierre Birnbaum says it’s time Léon Blum—French socialist, Zionist, wartime hero and Prime Minister—got his due