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Report details few cases of anti-Semitic violence in Russia

MOSCOW (JTA) — Only six of 234 xenophoic attacks in Russia last year were against Jews, though anti-Semitism remains a problem in the country, according to a new report.

The survey, which was released last week in Moscow, was prepared by Russian experts on anti-Semitism for the World Jewish Congress.

The xenophobic attacks resulted in 80 deaths and at least 300 injured, the survey said.

Of the six attacks against Jews, four occurred in Moscow; in three cases the targets were Israeli citizens.

In 2007 and 2008, eight attacks against Jews had been registered each year.

The anti-Semitic vandalism included nine cases of defilement of buildings occupied by Jewish organizations, and 11 cases of violating Jewish cemeteries or Holocaust memorials.

The report authors attributed the low level of anti-Semitic violence not to the eradication of anti-Semitism, but because Russian Jews are hard to differentiate from the population at large. The victims were mostly ultra-Orthodox Jews whose mode of dress made them stand out.

The authors said that anti-Semitic propaganda has largely moved to the Internet, including social networks. Live Journal, the most popular blog service in Russia, is a hot spot for such propaganda, since its abuse team allows popular neo-Nazi bloggers to remain on the site.
 

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