Putin says Europe’s Jews should move to Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed Tuesday that Jews facing a rising tide of anti-Semitism and bigotry farther west should move to Russia, where he said they would be better accepted.
The Russian leader was in a meeting with members of the European Jewish Congress, an organization headquartered in Paris. Its Moscow-born president, Moshe Kantor, had detailed to Putin how anti-Semitic attacks had risen in Europe by about 40 percent each of the past three years and that Jews can no longer walk the streets of some major European cities in safety.
"They should come here, to Russia. We are ready to accept them," Putin said in response, according to a transcriptprovided by the Kremlin.
Kantor appeared a bit taken aback by the gesture, but Putin continued, "They left the Soviet Union; now they should come back."
The remarks come at a time of pronounced fear among Europe's Jewish communities, rattled both by a rise in far-right activism across the continent as well as an influx of Muslim migrants and refugees.