Campaign mounts against Russian Jewish leader


MOSCOW, May 22 (JTA) — The campaign against one of Russian Jewry’s most influential — and most visible — leaders is escalating.

Russia’s government-owned television channel, ORT, accused the leader of the Russian Jewish Congress, Vladimir Goussinsky, of being controlled by the U.S. Congress and international Jewry.

ORT attacked Goussinsky on Sunday for helping to bring Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak to power because “it was in the interests of the American administration.”

The attack is just the latest in a series of actions against the media mogul that appear to be orchestrated by his rival, Boris Berezovsky, who controls ORT and is widely seen as having boosted Vladimir Putin to the Russian presidency.

Last week, the Central Bank of Russia established a temporary administration to manage Most Bank, a financial institution that is a key part of Goussinsky’s empire.

Previously, federal security agents raided offices belonging to Goussinsky’s media conglomerate.

But a leader of a group that monitors anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union said the campaign is not just one about a political rivalry, but has repercussion for those concerned about human rights.

“Politics and business are one thing,” said Mark Levin, the executive director of NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia.

But the ad “only fostered the worst stereotypes of Russian Jewry today.”

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