Mob hunts for Jews at Russian airport. Press calls it a ‘protest’ against ‘Israeli actions’

Mob hunts for Jews at Russian airport. Press calls it a ‘protest’ against ‘Israeli actions’

Mobs broke “into the Makhachkala airport, in Russia’s north Caucasus, looking to lynch Jews after rumors spread about the arrival of Jewish refugees from Israel,” notes the Wall Street Journal’s Yaroslav Trofimov. People in the mob chanted “kill, kill the Jews.” A reporter interviewed “a young kid in the airport lynch mob in Dagestan. ‘Why are you here?’ ‘I came for the Jews.’ ‘The Jews?’ ‘Yes, to kill them.’”

There were few Jews to be found, so the mob lashed out at people they mistakenly suspected might be Jews. “In the absence of actual Jews, a Russian-speaking Uzbek gets pogromed in the Makhachkala airport,” observed Trofimov.

The mob, chanting “Allahu Akbar,” was there to hunt Jews, not to protest Israeli government policies. Yet initial press reports described the mob as “protesters.” Reuters titled its misleading report, “Russian security forces remove pro-Palestinian protesters from Dagestan airport.”

Reuters originally reported that “Russian authorities closed an airport in the city of Makhachkala in the northern Caucasus region and diverted flights, including one from Israel, after media reports showed demonstrators denouncing Israeli actions in Gaza had gathered at the facility.” That was misleading, because they were not demonstrating, and they do not appear to have been denouncing any specific “Israeli actions.” They did chant antisemitic slogans.

In response to a backlash, Reuters corrected the above sentence in its article to say: “Hundreds of anti-Israel protesters on Sunday stormed Russia’s Dagestan airport in Makhachkala where a plane from Israel had just arrived, forcing Russian security forces to close the airport and divert flights while removing the demonstrators.” But it has left the article with the same misleading title, “Russian security forces remove pro-Palestinian protesters from Dagestan airport,” even though it was a mob, not a protest. Reuters did not acknowledge having earlier committed an error in its reporting, it just did a stealth edit.

But as a less misleading news report chronicled,

Hundreds of people stormed into the main airport in Russia’s Dagestan region and onto the landing field on Sunday evening in an attempt to confront Jewish passengers aboard a flight from Israel. The violence in the mostly Muslim region, which erupted amid the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, prompted Israel to call on Russia to protect its citizens.

The protesters, many of them chanting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest), broke through doors and barriers, with some running onto the runway, according to videos posted on social media and Russia’s RT and Izvestia media.

“There were hundreds at the [Makhachkala] airport. About 50 men approached the airplane and asked passengers if they were Jews. I said no. I’m Russian. They wanted to see my passport. I had a Russian passport. They hung around there and then pulled back at a certain point,” one eyewitness said in a recording obtained by Carmel News, a Telegram channel that focuses on Russia and Ukraine.

None of the passengers were hurt in the incident, according to Alex Bendersky, a Russian-speaking Israeli who covered the event on Carmel News.

According to Carmel News, aboard the plane were Dagestani children who had undergone medical treatment in Israel.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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