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Monday, July 25, 2022 

Russia shutting local branch of Jewish Agency

As Russia continues their war against Ukraine, they're also delegitimizing the Jewish Agency:
After initially believing Russia’s moves against the Jewish Agency to be a relatively minor spat, Israeli officials now view them as the makings of a potentially major diplomatic rift, and the Jewish Agency is preparing accordingly, a senior official in the organization said Sunday.

Moscow’s reasons for attacking the quasi-governmental organization remain unclear, as Russian officials have yet to indicate what — if any — steps Israel could take that would prompt them to call off its threats to shutter the group, which is tasked with facilitating and encouraging Jewish immigration to Israel.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Yair Lapid warned Russia that closing the Jewish Agency there would negatively affect ties between the two countries. He has reportedly tasked the Foreign Ministry with drawing up specific courses of action that Israel could take, should Russia go through with its stated plans to shut down the organization’s operations, including recalling the Israeli ambassador to Moscow, more bellicose public statements against Russia, and stepping up Israeli support for Ukraine.

Last month, Russian authorities told the Jewish Agency that its offices could face sanctions over alleged infringements of local laws. Officials in the organization initially believed this to be a low-level issue that could be resolved with negotiations and compromise.

However, as Moscow continued to escalate the situation, the Jewish Agency reached out to the Foreign Ministry to intervene on its behalf. The Israeli ambassador to Russia spoke about the matter with the Russian deputy foreign minister earlier this month.
It would seem Israeli sources underestimated what Putin's forces could do, and now, that naive approach could result in a terrible price. What's so unclear about this? Russia's letting antisemitism get the better of them, and now, the Jewish Agency could end up having their branch there closed by the dark forces of the still very communist country.

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