Russia to Jewish orgs: You’re ‘foreign agents’ – report

The warning letters come after the government moved to bar the Jewish Agency, which helps facilitate immigration to Israel, from continuing their activities in Russia.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A number of Jewish organizations operating in Russia have received warning letters from the Kremlin that they are under suspicion of acting as “foreign agents” and may be barred from continuing their work in the country, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.

The warning letters come after the government moved to bar the Jewish Agency, which helps facilitate immigration to Israel, from continuing their activities in Russia.

Although the Post report did not specifically name which Jewish organizations are being targeted, it noted that those in question are largely funded by Israeli or American donors.

Local Jewish organizations without ties to foreign funding did not receive the letters, the Post reported, but they are nevertheless alarmed by recent Russian government attitudes towards their operations and are focusing on keeping a low profile.

Last week, Russia’s Justice Ministry filed a formal request with a Moscow court to officially dissolve the Jewish Agency’s offices and infrastructure in the country.

Some have speculated that Israel, which has toed the diplomatic line and maintained good ties with both Russia and Ukraine, is being punished for not overtly supporting the Russian side in the conflict.

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Although Israel did not adopt the sanctions on Russia implemented by much of the West, Prime Minister Yair Lapid has made comments slamming the invasion, which angered the Kremlin.

“Russian Jews will not be held hostage by the war in Ukraine. The attempt to punish the Jewish Agency for Israel’s stance on the war is deplorable and offensive,” Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai said in a statement issued after the request to dissolve the Agency was made public.

The Kremlin has largely kept mum about the exact reason for the move, releasing laconic statements with vague references to alleged data privacy missteps by the Agency.