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Russian Jews outraged over gay propaganda law comparisons to Holocaust

August 12, 16:54 UTC+4
Chief Rabbi of Russia: once again people exploit sacred memory of Jewish genocide
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, August 12. /Itar-Tass/ - Representative of Russia’s Jewish communities are outraged with the recent comparisons of Russian lay prohibiting gay propaganda among minors with the holocaust – genocide of Jews in Nazi Germany. Commenting on the open letter to the IOC authored by Stephen Fry in which the British actor urges boycotting Sochi Olympics and draws the aforementioned parallel, Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia, said in interview to Itar-Tass:  “Unfortunately, once again we witness people exploiting sacred memory of the Jewish genocide and the Holocaust as means to an end. We find it outrageous and insulting to the memory of people who died in World War II.”

Lazar called “attempts to exploit deaths of millions, exterminated because of their ethnicity and belief” in order to justify opinions and intentions, “characteristic of a narrow group of people which stand against generally accepted morals,” cynical.  “It’s clear that what they want is a permission to act against God’s will,” the rabbi added.

He then elaborated: “No one is saying that we want to exterminate or discriminate against LGBT individuals. There is not a person who would want to do that. What we ask for is leaving children out of discussions on homosexuality – children are open to all sorts of activity and influence. “

Meanwhile, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia Alexander Boroda believes that calls boycotting Sochi 2014 because of the gay propaganda law are a result of lobbying. During a conversation with journalists, the spokesman suggested keeping sports and private lives apart.

“I’m completely against discrimination, and I mostly support the law prohibiting gay propaganda. On the global scale the value system is shifting, and in this regard Russia is a stronghold of common sense, morality and piety,” Boroda said.

“It’s all written in the Torah, Book of the Covenant; God has passed his judgement on these sins and illnesses, abnormalities which are now considered to be the norm,” he added.  

The spokesman emphasizes that no one pries into citizens’ personal lives, but he believes that one shouldn’t encouraging certain lifestyles. “All this speculation regarding the Olympics is a result of lobbying conducted in Europe and the United States; I think that common sense should prevail and we shouldn’t mix sports and private lives,” the president Federation of Jewish Communities said.

“I believe that the Russian Federation acts quite consistently: Olympics is about sports, what does it have to do with homosexuals?” he said, “Let them compete, no one cares about their sexuality, they’re evaluated based on their performance.” Boroda has also expressed an opinion that it’s likely such attacks against Russia will continue. 

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