The head of the Russian Republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has caused anger among Israel’s Russian community, after making an antisemitic statement.
Kadyrov made the comments while addressing Chechens living in Jordan, who had been invited by the Chechen Government on a cultural visit to the Chechen capital, Grozny.
In his hour-and-a-half speech, Kadyrov said that ‘the prophet Muhammad killed the Jews most of all’. He also called Jewish people ‘the main enemies of Islam’. The meeting was broadcast on Chechen state television.
This attack did not go unnoticed in the Israeli media, primarily Russian-speaking channels. Online in Israel’s Russian-speaking communities, there were widespread calls for a response from the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Earlier this year, Kadyrov criticised Israel for a travel warning on the official website of Israel’s National Security Council, that warned Israeli citizens not to travel to Chechnya.
‘We have many friends and acquaintances in Israel. I personally visited Jerusalem and Abu Ghosh, I met the mayor of the city. I assure you that they want to be friends with Chechnya!’ Kadyrov wrote in a social media post.
He said that ‘there are thousands of Grozny residents living in Israel who were forced to leave Chechnya during the war’, saying that ‘I am convinced that they will never forget Chechnya’.