MOSCOW (Dec. 29)
The level of anti-Semitic acts in Russia remained stable and relatively low this year, but three violent cases took place in Moscow within two weeks in December — and all went unreported in the local media. On Dec. 16, a Jew from southern Russia was stabbed on a Moscow tram.
Mikhail Yusupov, 24, an Israeli citizen and native of Dagestan, was stabbed and wounded in his lung after three young Russians asked him about his ethnicity. Doctors say Yusupov, who underwent two surgeries and is recuperating in a Moscow hospital, is in stable condition.
Yusupov was a member of the Marina Roscha synagogue and community center, the largest Jewish facility in Moscow. A source in the congregation said Jewish officials were following the investigation closely but didn’t report the incident to Russian media out of fear it would hinder the investigation.
Two of the three attackers in the case are under arrest, but a local police source refused to tell JTA what charges the men might face.
In another incident Dec. 23, an Orthodox Jew from Israel was beaten up near Marina Roscha.
Ephraim Malov, a teacher at a Jewish college for adult evening education, was beaten by three young men not far from the shul. Malov doesn’t speak or understand Russian, but said he could distinguish the word “evrei” — Russian for Jew — which his attackers kept repeating as they beat him.
In an another incident, police verbally and physically assaulted a driver employed by the Jewish community who had a menorah display on top of his car.
The incident took place Dec. 12 when the driver, an Azeri Muslim, was leaving a Moscow airport and heading toward the city. A traffic policeman who stopped the car allegedly pushed the man in the chest while uttering anti-Semitic slurs.
The man reportedly managed to escape in his car and reported the incident, along with the policeman’s license plate and badge number, to a nearby traffic police station. To his dismay, however, another policeman backed his colleague’s behavior and said it served the driver right, Vladimir Muterperel, a public affairs officer for Marina Roscha, which employed the driver, told JTA.
Muterperel said the spate of anti-Semitic incidents this month involving people connected with his organization was unprecedented. He said he didn’t think police could prevent such incidents from happening, and that his organization was considering creating a special security unit to provide additional safety measures in the neighborhood around Marina Roscha, where there is a large concentration of Orthodox Jews.