White House responds after antisemitic ‘lynch mob’ hunts ‘Jews’ at Russian airport, blocks flight

Horrifying images are emerging out of Russia after hundreds of anti-Israel protestors swarmed an airport in Dagestan, a heavily Muslim region, to block an incoming flight from Tel Aviv.

In what is being called an attempted pogrom, the pro-Palestinian mob answered calls on the messaging app Telegram to block flight WZ4728 as it landed at Makhachkala airport.

According to The Moscow Times, demonstrators carrying Palestinian flags and signs reading “Child killers have no place in Dagestan” and “We are against Jewish refugees” descended on the airport.

The situation quickly devolved into a riot, as the protestors shouted “Allahu Akbar,” demanded to see passports, and stormed the tarmac.

“There were hundreds of people at the airport,” one witness said, according to the Daily Mail. “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.”

“The majority of Dagestan residents are Muslim and the region is reportedly regarded as an important centre of Islam in the Caucasus and former Soviet Union,” the outlet reports.

Groups of men hurled “stones and other objects at police from outside the airport’s fence,” The Moscow Times states. In response, police fired shots into the air.

Later, Russia’s civil aviation agency took to Telegram to report that all the rioters had been ejected from the airport. It is unclear whether any of them were detained.

According to the Daily Mail, Dagestan’s health ministry also went on Telegram to announce, “As a result of the incident at Makhachkala airport there are injured (people), who are receiving medical help.”

Dagestan’s leader, Sergei Melikov, condemned the riot, calling it a gross violation of the law.

Though Dagestanis “empathise with the suffering of victims of the actions of unrighteous people and politicians, and pray for peace in Palestine,” Melikov said on Telegram, “There is no courage in waiting as a mob for unarmed people who have not done anything forbidden.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement on Sunday, stressing that Israel “expects the Russian law enforcement authorities to protect the safety of all Israeli citizens and Jews wherever they may be and to act resolutely against the rioters and against the wild incitement directed against Jews and Israelis.”

White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson stated on X that the U.S. condemns the protest.

“The United States vigorously condemns the antisemitic protests in Dagestan, Russia,” she wrote. “The U.S. unequivocally stands with the entire Jewish community as we witness a worldwide surge in antisemitism. There is never any excuse or justification for antisemitism.”

Many felt she didn’t go far enough.

“You misspelled lynch mob,” stated one user.

“Speaking openly, I’m concerned about the Jews in Russia,” the former Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas Goldschmidt, told i24 News.

Goldschmidt noted the “deteriorating” relationship between Russia and Israel and urged any Jews who are still in Russia to get out.

“Everything in Russia is controlled,” he explained. “If a person makes a peep against a war, against [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, he’s getting arrested right away. And here, we have crowds of people in five different cities making a riot and the police is not getting involved.”

“The police not only did not prevent those rioters from coming into the airport, into the hotel,” he said, “they were even helpful to them.”


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