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Groups protest Russian textbook’s portrayal of Jews

MOSCOW (JTA) — A Russian Jewish umbrella group says it is extremely concerned about a textbook on religion that blames Jews for injustices in the wake of Russia’s 1917 revolution.

In a section on Russian history, the electronic textbook, published by Ulyanovsk State University, gives the impression that Jews seek to dominate the pathways of power. It claims Russia’s 1917 Bolshevik Revolution was instigated by Jews to expand their negative influence on the socio-political and cultural life of Russia.

"In the section on Judaism, one can find a set of completely biased statements ranging from insinuations to blatant anti-Semitism," the Federation of Jewish Communities said in a statement on the textbook.

The section also says that those who study Judaism would find "elements of an aggressive culture close to a sect or cult which seeks to despise or dominate other nations," according to the statement.

The group says that such textbooks undermine any possibility of interreligious harmony in the Ulyanovsk region in central Russia. It points to a rash of anti-Semitic attacks and graffiti in the past year as evidence.

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