Christians survived even though the ancestors of certain Jewish opposition politicians boiled them in cauldrons, Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov has claimed.
On Sunday, Milonov claimed that the ancestors of Jewish opposition politicians Maksim Reznik and Boris Vishnevsky boiled Christians in cauldrons, the Agence France-Presse relays. The statement has drawn condemnation from Jewish leaders and groups.
"Christians survived despite the fact that the ancestors of Boris Vishnevsky and Maksim Reznik boiled us in cauldrons and fed us to animals," the AFP quoted Milonov as saying on Sunday.
The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia spokesman Rabbi Boruch Gorin denounced Milonov's statement as irresponsible. Although Milonov did not specifically mention Jews, Gorin told AFP that it was clear that the two lawmakers were Jewish and that he was talking about Jews.
"For a State Duma deputy, it is unacceptable to make such irresponsible statements," Gorin said.
American nonprofit National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry has urged Moscow to condemn Milonov's statement. The coalition said the lawmaker's remarks about Reznik and Vishnevsky "invokes dangerous antisemitic hatred that has historically been used to justify widespread violence against Jews" in the country.
A little over a year ago, The Jerusalem Post ran a report about Russian President Vladimir Putin extending his welcome to Jews fleeing anti-Semitism. He told Jewish leaders that time that Russia is "ready to accept" Jewish refugees from Western Europe.
Putin was reacting to reports about a spike in anti-Semitic violence in the country at the time. Speaking to European Jewish Congress president Dr. Moshe Vyacheslav Kantor, Putin said Jews who left the Soviet Union should return to Russia.
Kantor welcomed Putin's proposal. The Jewish community leader also revealed his plan to talk about the issue with European Jewish leaders during their upcoming assembly. He also agreed with Moscow's support for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and the fight against the Islamic State.