Russia's Chief Rabbi Berel Lazer, one of President Putin's closest associates, took part Thursday in the "March of the Living" and "Limmud FSU" events marking the 90th birthday of famed Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel in Sighet, Romania.
Rabbi Lazer talked about Russia's decision to transfer the S-300 air defense system to Syria following the downing of the Russian plane two weeks ago.
"I think this transfer story has been going on for many years, and it was the incident of the Russian plane that ultimately led to the unequivocal decision - that Russia must deliver this material to protect its aircraft. I think this is a mistake, which will only bring more difficulties to the region," said Rabbi Lazer.
According to Rabbi Lazer, the S-300 system is not an existential threat. "I'm sure that Israel and the IDF have the technological options to deal with the enemy today, as well as with the S-300. We are talking about this issue with President Putin in order to sharpen the sensitivity of the subject. "
"We very much hope that Israel's cooperation with the Russians will continue and that the state will continue to maintain its borders and do everything it needs to ensure that the threat of the enemy does not reach its gates. Our relationship with Russia is important and we must continue it, but not rely on anyone but on ourselves, "added a Russian rabbi.
The event took place only two months after the serious incident in the city of Sighet in Romania, during which Wiesel's childhood home was spray-painted with antisemitic graffiti.
During the day, a ceremony was held giving thanks to the mayor of Sighet and to the law enforcement authorities of the region for their persistent struggle against antisemitism and manifestations of violence and racism.