Jewish Agency vows to continue operations in Russia, as court hears case against it

July 29, 2022 by TPS
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A Moscow court held a preliminary hearing on Thursday in the case concerning the association operated by The Jewish Agency for Israel in Russia. It was determined that a trial will take place on August 19. The association will then present its arguments.

The Jewish Agency, Jerusalem

Russia’s Ministry of Justice has requested the liquidation of the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency, which helps Jews immigrate to Israel. The Ministry of Justice believes that the Jewish Agency “violated Russian law in its work.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry has not commented on Thursday’s developments. An Israeli diplomatic team, which arrived in Moscow on Wednesday evening and which was present at the hearing, avoided the press.

Yaakov Hagoel, Acting Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel, stated that the Jewish Agency “plays a critical role in cultivating Jewish identity and establishing a connection to Israel for Jews all over the world. As such, its vital activities that serve the Jewish communities in Russia will continue in order to ensure the community thrives and remains connected to their heritage and the State of Israel.”

The Jewish Agency has reportedly begun to move its operations out of Russia to its office in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid stated Sunday that “the relations with Russia are important for Israel, and that the large Jewish community in Russia is important” and is brought up in all diplomatic discourse with the administration in Moscow.

However, “closing the Jewish Agency offices would be a serious event that would affect relations,” Lapid threatened.

An Israeli diplomatic source is quoted as saying that Russia is threatening to close the Jewish Agency as leverage to achieve something, a form of blackmail. Israel is expected to offer Russia something in return for an ease in the pressure.


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