Moscow Seeks To Shut Down Jewish Agency Operations in Russia: Court
Russia’s Justice Ministry is seeking to shut down operations in Russia of the Jewish Agency for Israel, the quasi-governmental body that processes the immigration of Jews to Israel, a Moscow court said on Thursday.
Early reports claimed Moscow had already ordered the Jewish Agency to stop its operations in Russia, but the Jewish Agency said these reports were erroneous. The Justice Ministry filed a request to liquidate the agency on July 15; it will be discussed at a preliminary hearing on July 28.
The move against the agency follows criticism by Israel of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid accused Moscow in April of committing war crimes. Lapid became interim prime minister of Israel on July 1.
“Russian Jews will not be held hostage by the war in Ukraine,” wrote Diaspora Affairs Minister Dr. Nachman Shai on Twitter. “The attempt to punish the Jewish Agency for Israel’s position on the war is pathetic and insulting. The Jews of Russia will not be able to be detached from the historical and emotional connection to the State of Israel.”