Russia may charge lawmaker who called for expelling Jews

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Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 08:46:04 +0300 (EET DST)
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Subject: Russia may charge lawmaker who called for expelling Jews

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Russia may charge lawmaker who called for expelling Jews

Russia may charge lawmaker who called for expelling Jews
By Lev Krichevsky
MOSCOW, Oct. 9 (JTA) - A Communist lawmaker who recently uttered
several anti-Semitic comments appears to be in hot water.
Russian state prosecutors said they are considering bringing criminal
charges against Gen. Albert Makashov, a member of the Russian
Parliament's lower house, according to the newspaper Izvestia. And
leaders of the Russian Communist Party promised to expel Makashov, a
hard-line member of the Russian Parliament's lower house.
Makashov made his first controversial comment in early October, when
he said in a television interview that "it is time to expel all yids
out of Russia."
At recent mass rallies in Moscow and the Central Russian town of
Samara, Makashov said Jews are to blame for the current economic
crisis in Russia and that if he had to die he would take along a
"dozen yids."
He also said that Yeltsin should be "turned to soap."
Several Jewish and liberal lawmakers protested Makashov's anti-Semitic
remarks, and Russian Justice Minister Pavel Krasheninnikov accused
Makashov and three other participants in the Communist-sponsored
rallies of "inciting ethnic hatred and calling for a forceful change
of the constitutional regime."
On Tuesday, his ministry officially demanded that the Prosecutor's
Office launch a criminal investigation.
Some observers called this a landmark move because authorities
generally do not react to similar verbal attacks.
More surprising was the unambiguous stand the Communist leaders took
regarding Makashov. In the past, some prominent Communists, including
party leader Gennady Zyuganov, have made thinly veiled racist and
anti-Semitic statements.
Last month, however, Zyuganov was the only top politician in Russia
besides President Yeltsin to extend holiday greetings to the Jewish
In his letter read during Rosh Hashanah services at the Moscow Choral
Synagogue, Zyuganov condemned anti-Semitism in Russia for the first
Some analysts said the shift in the Communist leader's attitude toward
anti-Semitism is a sign that Zyuganov is trying to change his image
with an eye toward running for president in the next elections, which
are scheduled for 2000.
(c Jewish Telegraphic Agency Inc.)

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