NEW YORK (Mar. 23)
A consortium of Jewish groups in Moscow are helping to organize a major demonstration on Sunday, March 28, to warn against the dangers of a coalition of nationalistic and pro-Communist forces, according to the National Conference on Soviet Jewry.
Fears of such a “brown-red” coalition comes as Russia faces a constitutional crisis, in the wake of a bitter struggle between Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the republic’s conservative Parliament.
The crisis began Saturday, when Yeltsin assumed nearly unlimited emergency rule and called for a constitutional referendum. On Sunday, the Parliament declared Yeltsin’s move unconstitutional.
For Russian Jews, who overwhelmingly support the reform and democracy platforms of Yeltsin, the crisis has created deep concerns, but not panic.
One opponent of Yeltsin daubed on the Russian White House, as the Russian Parliament building is known, “Yeltsin is a Zionist.”
And at a Communist rally there on Saturday, anti-Semitic slogans such as “Down with the Kikes and Masons” and “Jews Out of the Government” were displayed, according to the National Conference.
“Seeing these slogans makes us worried,” Mikhail Chlenov, co-chairman of the Vaad, the Russian Jewish communal organization, told the National Conference.
He also reported that when a group of Jews who came to the White House to demonstrate for Yeltsin asked where the rally was, they were told, “Kikes to the left, Russians to the right.”