Silenced By Anti-Semitism

An article from today caught my eye:

Threats Painted on Murmansk Jewish Center
Unknown vandals painted antisemitic threats on the walls of the “Siyanie Chesed” Jewish Center in Murmansk, according to a January 9, 2007 report by the AEN news service. The words “Beat the Kikes” and “Holocaust 2007” were daubed on the walls in bright red paint sometime over the New Year’s holiday. In July 2006, vandals painted “Death to the kikes” on the building.
The local Jewish community has not yet reported the incident to the police.

A statistic released yesterday, that 53 people were killed in Russia in racist attacks in 2006, also came over the Russian Interfax news service — reported not by any law enforcement agency, but by the “Sova Analytical Center”. A scan of their website at brings up this article about neo-Nazi violence which makes me wonder how commonplace such things are:

On November 5-19, the SOVA Center recorded at least 9 attacks of this sort with 20 people suffered as minimum, including 2 people dead and at least 7 hospitalized. These attacks took place in 4 cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vologda and Voronezh.

Who recorded and logged these incidents? The SOVA Center. Nowhere in that article are law enforcement entities mentioned. Strong corrective actions taken by Russian law enforcement entities against nationalist entities were called “unprecedented” in November and another article on their site noted, in relation to the murder of a Korean worker, “as there had never been a lethal outcome, the law enforcement bodies didn’t pay attention to these violent crimes”, a fact only brought to light following media coverage.
When swastikas, beatings, knife wounds, and threats don’t get the cops to respond, you eventually stop calling. If the cops themselves are anti-Semitic, you don’t call in the first place.
And when the number of nationalist skinheads in your country can be estimated to number 60,000, you don’t make too much of a ruckus. So it comes out that NGOs like SOVA and small newswires like AEN really are the only ones Jews feeling the brunt of anti-Semitic violence have to turn to in many locations.
I applaud the actions of the brave Jews who actually do turn to those newswires and NGOs. Were it not for them, many of us in North America would have no idea precisely what our European counterparts are going through — or when they are crying out for help.

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