Encouraged by Moscow’s support for Hamas, a Jew-hating mob terrorized Israeli passengers disembarking from a plane in the Russian republic of Dagestan Oct. 29, just a few weeks after Hamas’ murderous assault on Jews in Israel. Some 1,200 young men stormed the region’s main airport looking for Jews to kill.
Carrying banners with antisemitic slogans, they broke through airport security in Makhachkala, Dagestan’s capital. Some were armed with knives. They hurled rocks at a bus carrying Jews from a plane that had just arrived from Tel Aviv. The mob boarded the bus, demanding passengers say whether they were Muslim or Jewish.
“I answer that I’m Muslim,” Shmuel told Israeli newspaper Yedoith Ahronoth afterward. “I saw death on that bus. If they had given me a serious interrogation they would have realized that I was Israeli. The police rescued us.” More than 20 people were injured.
The same day, a Jewish center under construction in Nalchik, a city in the nearby republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, was set on fire. “Death to the Jews” was left scrawled on one of its walls. The day before, the Flamingo Hotel in Khasavyurt, Dagestan, was stormed by a group of men looking for Jews to attack.
The Israeli government issued a statement demanding Russian authorities “safeguard the well-being of all Israeli citizens and Jews wherever they are.”
But after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime hosted a Hamas leadership delegation in Moscow. The Kremlin calls for a “cease-fire” in order to prevent the Israel Defense Forces from defeating Hamas, the only way to stop it from carrying out more massacres of Jews. Moscow is expanding its ties with Tehran, which helped orchestrate Hamas’ Oct. 7 killings. The Iranian regime supplies Putin’s regime with arms to carry out its murderous war in Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry tried to shift blame onto the Ukrainian government for the airport attack in Dagestan, preposterously claiming, “The criminal Kyiv regime played a direct and key role in carrying out the latest destructive act.” Sergey Melikov, governor of Dagestan, also blamed so-called Ukrainian fascists, a slander frequently used by Putin as a pretext for his genocidal war against Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was the Kremlin’s war that had caused “hatred and degradation” to spread across Russia. He said this is what had allowed “a real pogrom” against Jews to unfold in Dagestan, and denounced antisemitic attacks elsewhere in Russia.
During the pogrom at the airport, “One woman turned to the local police officer for help,” a representative of Ovadia Isakov, Dagestan’s chief rabbi, reported. “But the cop blamed Jews, saying, ‘Well, you see what you are doing to their children there [in Gaza].’”
For more than a year and a half, Putin has bombarded Ukrainian civilians in his attempt to crush the country and incorporate it into Russia. By siding with Hamas, he hopes to win allies for his expansionist capitalist regime among Muslim-majority countries across the Middle East.
Some 800 families of Gorskiy, or “Mountain,” Jews live in majority-Muslim Dagestan.
For a century the czarist rulers of Russia carried out anti-Jewish pogroms until the conquest of power by workers and farmers in the Bolshevik-led 1917 Russian Revolution. The new government led by V.I. Lenin and the Bolsheviks put an end to the pogroms.
The Bolsheviks led the exploited and oppressed across the former czarist empire to fight for their own class interests and granted oppressed nations, like Dagestan, the right to self-determination. The Bolsheviks organized the First Congress of the Peoples of the East in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1920. A delegation of Mountain Jews presented a declaration there.
“Convinced that their only salvation lies in revolution, the Mountain Jews look to this great congress,” they wrote. “Jewish workers and toilers of all countries have a vital interest in the overthrow of world capital and will work for this with all their might.”
In the following years a bloody counterrevolution headed by Joseph Stalin overturned the political course led by Lenin. Moscow once again imposed its domination over oppressed nations within the Soviet Union and Jew-hatred once again became a weapon utilized by the Russian government.