Russia is officially a country of many peoples and religions. But the Russian Muslims stand by the Palestinians. In a heated mood, Muslims hunt down supposed Jews.
Because of the Gaza conflict, anti-Jewish attacks are increasing in Russia’s Muslim-dominated North Caucasus. In Makhachkala in the Republic of Dagestan, a crowd of people forced their way into the airport on Sunday evening because a plane from Tel Aviv had landed there, allegedly carrying refugees from Israel. Numerous people also ran onto the airfield.
More than 20 people were injured in the incident, including police and civilians. Ten people were treated in hospital, two of them were in critical condition, the Russian state news agency Tass reported overnight, citing the local health ministry.
The airfield was temporarily closed and arriving planes were diverted to other airports, the state aviation regulator Rosawiazija Tass said. Rosawiazija later announced that security forces had cleared the area. The airport will remain closed until November 6th.
The US National Security Council condemned “the anti-Semitic protests” in Dagestan. “The United States stands with the entire Jewish community in the face of a global rise in anti-Semitism. There is never an excuse or justification for anti-Semitism,” wrote spokeswoman Adrienne Watson on the X platform that night.
Israel demands security from Russia
Israel had previously called on the Russian authorities to protect its citizens on Sunday. “Russian law enforcement authorities are expected to ensure the safety of all Israeli citizens and Jews and take decisive action against rioters and wild incitement against Jews and Israelis,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office and the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a joint statement.
“Israel takes attempts to harm Israeli citizens and Jews anywhere very seriously” and is monitoring events in Dagestan, the statement said. The Israeli ambassador to Russia, Alex Ben Zvi, is working with the Russian authorities “to ensure the well-being of Jews and Israelis on site.”
On Saturday, a crowd of angry people also surrounded a hotel in the city of Khasavyurt in Dagestan because of rumors that refugees from Israel were being housed there. The state agency Ria confirmed this incident. According to local reports, several dozen men broke into the hotel to allegedly check the passports of hotel guests. The police sealed off the hotel.
The situation is made worse by the fact that the evacuation flights for Russian citizens from Tel Aviv land in the North Caucasus, namely at the airports of Makhachkala, Mineralnye Vody and Sochi. In the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Russian Muslims stand by their Palestinian brethren.
Further attacks on Jews
In Nalchik, tires were set on fire next to a Jewish cultural center under construction on Sunday, the Ria news agency reported. According to the security authorities of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic, the building was daubed with extremist slogans. According to photos, it said “Death to the Jews.” In the republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia, demonstrators called for the local Jewish population to be deported.
The head of the Republic of Dagestan, Sergei Melikov, called on the population not to be incited by extremists who wanted to destabilize the situation. “Because of the fakes spread by our enemies, some very young people were on the verge of violating the laws,” he wrote on Telegram. The region’s Islamic clergy also made it clear: “Anti-Semitism has no place in the multi-ethnic North Caucasus.”
President Vladimir Putin met with the heads of the religions represented in Russia last week because of the violence in the Middle East. He called for peaceful coexistence between peoples and religions in the large country.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.