A spokesperson for Russia’s Jewish community has described claims that Jews are profiting from their past suffering as “humiliating.”
The director of the Russian-Polish Center, Yury Bondarenko, told the E-Vesti news outlet last week that Jews held the “sweetest and most lucrative” place, along with Armenians, in capitalizing on their historical tragedies.
Borukh Gorin, a spokesperson for the Federation of Jewish Organizations in Russia (FEOR), responded to the comments saying, “It is regrettable that the head of a state-sponsored organization in charge of building bridges between nations has argued that Jews and Armenians attempt to monetize their tragedy.”
“Those words are humiliating for the two nations which have suffered from hideous prosecutions,” Gorin added in a written statement in the Lehaim magazine.
The spokesperson added that comments like Bondarenko’s “undermine multinational and multi-religious peace in Russia and gives its opponents a reason to claim there’s a supposed rise in xenophobia in Russia at a state level.”
Bondarenko’s comments were in reference to the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of over six million Jews, and to the Turkish massacres in 1915 when 1.5 million Armenians were killed.