A Russian Member of Parliament (MP) burst out in an anti-Semitic tirade last Thursday, attacking other Russian lawmakers as "Jews" responsible for the 1917 Communist revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Oleg Bolychev, an MP from the ruling United Russia party, called his opponents "Jews, mired in opposition," during a debate at the regional parliament in Kaliningrad, reports AFP.
"At the start of the 1990s foreign spies were infiltrated into our government who oversaw the destruction of our state," claimed Bolychev. "You destroyed our country in 1917 and you destroyed our country in 1991."
The Russian Jewish Congress said it was "indignant" over the anti-Semitic blaming of Jews for Russian failures, and called for an investigation.
Alexander Khinstein, a fellow United Russia MP, also spoke out against his party member, saying "it is incredible that a public figure can make such extremist statements."
Meanwhile Bolychev struck back, saying labels of extremism were "ravings and provocations." He also claimed his blaming of the Jews for "destroying Russia" was not anti-Semitic, saying "I was not talking about Jews but about the situation in the country. I was speaking about traitors who destroyed a great state twice."
According to Alexander Verkhovsky of the NGO Sova, which studies racism in Russia, "xenophobia is such in Russia that it now appears in the official discourse which was controlled up until now."
Russia has also embraced the enemies of the Jewish state, sealing a $1 billion energy deal with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in late January. During his visit to Russia during which the deal was signed, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called on Russia to play a greater role in peace talks between Israel and the PA.
In the past several weeks Russia has also inked a $2 billion arms deal with Egypt, with another big arms deal reportedly in the offing. Reports in a Kuwaiti newspaper last November indicated the deals are intended to give Egypt's military parity with the IDF.