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Ukraine chief rabbi slams Russian Jews for standing idly by as Moscow ‘indiscriminately’ bombs Ukraine

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Ukrainian Chief Rabbi Moshe Azman is seen in a video statement, March 2, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)
Ukrainian Chief Rabbi Moshe Azman is seen in a video statement, March 2, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)

Ukrainian Chief Rabbi Moshe Azman issues a fiery condemnation of Russian people, specifically Russian Jews, for standing idly by as Moscow pummels Ukraine.

“Remember, that he who does not care and he who agrees silently, that is an accomplice to a crime. A war crime! A crime against humanity!” says the St. Petersburg-born Azman, speaking in Russian in a video statement.

“I never thought, even in my worst nightmare, that I might have to perish under the shells of Russia, where I was born, where I went to school, where I have many friends, who are silent. Basically no one has called and asked. People call from all over the world. From all over the world. Jews and non-Jews. Even Arabs call me from Israel and support me,” he says.

Azman accuses the Russian military of indiscriminately bombing Ukraine using GRAD rockets, contrasting it to the Israeli military’s use of “high accuracy missiles” to kill terrorists “so as to not, God forbid, hurt peaceful population.”

“Here? Look. Look at the videos. Maybe you’re not shown this. They shoot with Grad (MLRS). Grad are not high-accuracy weapons. Grads, tanks, ballistic rockets, planes. What’s going on? War. War! War!” he says.

Holding a Torah scroll, Azman says he “curses” those who are “silent accomplices in this horrible crime.”

“I’m standing with the holy Torah. This Torah has been given to us by the Almighty. And I’m telling you on the Torah,” he says.

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