Simon Wiesenthal Center Slams State-Funded Russia Today Television for Anti-Semitic Program; Demands Apology (VIDEO)
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights group, on Monday demanded an apology from the directors of state-owned Russia Today Television for airing anti-Semitic programming that contravened Russia’s membership obligations under the 2004 Berlin Declaration on Anti-Semitism of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Known as RT, the outlet has long come under criticism for serving as a Kremlin mouthpiece and for vicious attacks on Israel.
“In the very week that the Russian Federation criminalized the denial of the Holocaust and the State of Israel celebrated its 66th Independence Day, your channel apparently decided to trash both Jewish Holocaust victims and Jewish sovereignty,” SWC Director Rabbi Shimon Samuels wrote to RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan and Managing Director Alexei Nikolov.
Samuels said he sat through “eight minutes of raw Jew-hatred and unambiguous group defamation, horrified that a Russian government-financed television would screen this, Australian produced, ‘Juice Rap News’ clip’s pathetic claim to political satire.”
“My first thought was, by chance I had captured the EU banned Iranian Press TV,” Samuels said. “Then perhaps, that RT must be parodying Soviet antisemitism in order to condemn it.”
“But no! We were treated to the self-hatred of Holocaust revisionist, Norman Finkelstein, and then a series of classical antisemitic canards including Jews and money, their control of the United States etc. The rest of the clip is arguably an endorsement for Palestinian terrorism and of the BDS boycott campaign against Israel.”
Samuels asked, “Does screening this repugnance signal an RT policy shift? If so, you have made a mockery of Russia’s 9 May Victory commemoration, as you soil the memory of more than 20 million Soviet citizens – among them over 500,000 Jewish soldiers of the Red Army – who fell victim to the Nazi scourge?”
“We cannot but question the timing of this travesty: the Duma Holocaust denial bill, Israel’s Independence Day, Russia’s Victory day – all in the context of Moscow’s greatest international crisis since the Soviet period.”
Samuels asked, “Was a piece of Jewish mass distraction intended, or simply a program error? If the latter, we insist on a public apology for this incitement to hatred and offense to the Jewish people and the removal from your company of those responsible. If intended, then the matter will be raised to a higher authority on the grounds that it violates Russian membership obligations under the 2004 Berlin Declaration on Antisemitism of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.”
Watch the clip from ‘Juice Rap News’ below: