Jewish leaders expressed concern about rising anti-Semitism in Europe
European Jews concerned by anti-Semitism are officially welcome in Russia, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.
“Let them come to us!” Putin told a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow with leaders of the European Jewish Congress.
“During the Soviet period they were leaving the country, and now they should return.”
EJC president Moshe Kantor told Putin anti-Semitism in Europe is at its highest level since World War II, triggering a “very real new Exodus from Europe.”
The French Jewish Agency said this week that the number of Jews moving to Israel from France, for example, has spiked significantly since 2012.
Kantor called the Russian leader a “friend of the Jews” and expressed support for Russia’s fight against ISIL.
Putin said he had seen media reports that some Jews in Europe are afraid to wear the traditional skullcap in public, but that he didn’t think the situation was at its worst since World War II. He promised to help fight anti-Semitism to “preserve the memory of World War II” and the Holocaust.