Jews In Russia: “Lapid’s Conduct Is Endangering Us”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, welcomes Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, prior to their talks in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 9, 2021. (Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP)

As the Jewish Agency crisis continues, some Jews in Russia are extremely perturbed by the deterioration of Israel-Russia relations, fearing its effect on the Jewish community.

“[Former prime minister Naftali] Bennett understood what diplomacy was,” a senior member of the Jewish community in Russia told B’Chadrei Chareidim. “He tried to walk between the raindrops because he was mindful of not only the Jews in Ukraine but of the huge number of Jews in Russia as well. In contrast, [Prime Minister Yair] Lapid is endangering Russian Jews. Attacking Putin and Russia and ignoring Russian Jews is irresponsible and can harm the Jews here.”

“I understand that Israel is being pressured by the US and Europe but your government is simply endangering us. With all due respect to the important work of the Jewish Agency, ultimately there are Jews here. Why is no one thinking about the consequences for them?”

From statements issued from both countries on Tuesday, it seems as if efforts are being made to lower the flames a bit. Contrary to the statements of Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who slammed Israel, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that the “situation shouldn’t be politicized or projected onto the entirety of Russian-Israeli relations.” He added that the issues with the Jewish Agency are simply a matter of the necessity of all organizations “to comply with Russian law.”

Later on Tuesday, Lapid responded to Peskov’s words, saying that Israel is always ready for dialogue with Russia.

“Israeli-Russian relations are based on heritage, ongoing connection, and shared interests,” he said. “The Jewish community [in Russia] plays a central role in these relations.”

“If there are legal issues that arise from the Jewish Agency’s important activity in Russia, then Israel, as always, is ready and willing to engage in dialogue while preserving the important relations between the countries.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Would halochos of rodef apply? If you are a Jew who volunteers to be in Russia and you are doing something productive for that country, then you are a danger to lives of Jews in Ukraine (and Israel also via Syria). If you are there to teach Torah, then you are probably not a rodef, unless another Russian Jew will decide to stay – and work – in Russia because of your wonderful yeshiva, not likely though.

  2. Putin is doing Israel a favor by shutting down the Jewish Agency. Overwhelming majority of Russians brought into Israel aren’t Jewish.