THE BASIC TENDENCIES OF THE ANTI-SEMITISM IN UZBEKISTAN (2005)

From files of Euro-Asian Jewish Congress 2006

Alexander Vishnevetsky

At the end of 2005, beginning 2006, several tragic incidents involving the Jews of Uzbekistan occurred. One of the most serious cases, in February 2006, involved the physical attack of Avraam Yagudayev, one of the most authoritative representatives of the Tashkent religious community of Bukharian Jews. Yagudayev ultimately died as a result. Two weeks before this incident, Grigoriy Akilov, son of Tamara Akilov. Chairman of the Cultural Center of Bukharian Jews in Tashkent, was also attacked. A few months prior to this, November 9, 2005, Aleksey Volosevich, the correspondent of the information agency, “Fergana Ru,” was seriously beaten near his home. On the walls to the entrance of his house, the assailants had painted anti-Semitic slogans. Volosevich had published materials focusing on the tragic events in Andijan, as well as articles on the court examination of Uzbek’s opposition. O. Turakulov, head of National Security Press Service of Uzbekistan and Sh. Minovarov, Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Committee on Religious Affairs, stated that the above mentioned cases were not the manifestation of anti-Semitism. As the representatives of the authorities stated, Avraam Yagudayev, was killed by robbers. However there was no evidence to the fact that any valuables had been stolen. Emanuel Mel, ambassador of Israel to Uzbekistan, stated that he considered the attack on Avraam Yagudayev to be motivated by anti-Semitism although there were no officials who would comment on this. Considering that Uzbekistan has one of the most powerful police and law systems in Central Asia, and that there are only a few thousand Jews in the country, compared to the 26 million non-Jews, the frequency of attacks upon Jews should generate attention. However, this is not the case. The journalist A. Volosevich assumes that the attack on him was organized by the Uzbekistan intelligence service. It should be mentioned that there is no serious basis with which to blame Soviet Uzbekistan in terms of anti-Semitism on a governmental level. During fifteen years of independence, this Central Asia state has maintained friendly relations with Israel as well as its own freely functioning Jewish organizations. Unfortunately, the economic situation in Uzbekistan has declined and people have begun to react negatively to the government’s actions. As a result of the liquidation of the legal opposition, corruption and bribery have been operating at full force. Media in the country tends to only publicize the official point of view and the reality of life inside the country is kept hidden. One of the most tragic results of the social crises were statements made on May 2005 in Andijan. Fergana Valley where the Andijan city is located, suffers from overpopulation and low living standards. As a result, the region is politically unstable and religious fundamentalists have risen to power. The first Jewish pogrom, an attempt to convert Jews to Islam, occurred in Andijan in 1918. Again, in May 1990, a Jewish pogrom took place. Jewish homes were burnt to ashes and Jewish women were raped. This was the only Jewish pogrom in the territory of the USSR, which was meanwhile in the process of collapsing. In the case of this attack on Jews, as well as the one to come later in February 2006, there were no parties found guilty and no one was ever punished for these crimes. At the beginning of “Andijan’s rebellion” on May 2005, in the city were there had at one time been five thousand Jews, not more than one hundred Jews remained. As a result of economic and social problems in Uzbekistan, as well as in other Central Asian countries such as Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, several large radical Islamic organizations have begun to operate practically legally. Hizb at-Tahrir al-Islami (Party of Islamic Liberation) is well known by its anti-Semitic ideology and anti-Semitic propaganda which describes the negative attitude towards Jews as the result of economic problems. This organization also believes that there is a conspiracy between ‘Zionism” and the state of Israel. Several anti-Semitic accusations were hurled against the authorities after the attempted rebellion in May, 2005. In one of the propaganda leaflets of Hizb ut-Tahrir they stated that: "... Karimov (Islam Karimov – the President of Uzbekistan Authorities) is a Jew and the biggest enemy of the Moslem people. His actions against Moslem women could be predicted." The leaflet went on to explain that these actions by Jews, supported by their leader, were against peaceful and defenseless Moslems: "That's why we were not surprised by the measures taken by Karimov against oppressed mothers, participants in the demonstrations." The pamphlet asked how long the authorities of Uzbekistan would remain silent against the crimes of Jews? Would they continue to be victims to the actions of Jew Karimov and his supporters? Many of the anti-Semites and anti-Zionist representatives use the Internet as a means of disseminating propaganda. On June 2005, (HYPERLINK "http://www.centrasia.ru/") “Karimov Tribe: Destroying Uzbekistan,” by Usman Haknazarov, an “expert in political science,” was published. Haknazarok stated in his article, “someone can say: 'What is the problem if Uzbekistan is ruled by Jews? What is the problem if Jews support Karimov? Jews are also people!' Who are these people? These are people who have the wrong information about their superiority. They consider other people to be their slaves, and precious things to be their precious things. They believed their destiny is dictated by a God which is only for Jews. Jews are a people who follow an ideological program, based on Zionism (a chauvinistic and fascist ideology, which states that all people (goyim-not Jews) were created by God in order to serve Jews).” In another article, also written by Haknazarov, “It happened in Andijan,” published on the same Internet site, the author states that the rebellion was started by five hundred soldiers from Israel's Mossad. He writes: “The people in Andijan could see the people in black masks, speaking in an incomprehensible language. They were killing and wounding children, women and older people”. Haknazarov continues that the “strangers” were so cruel that even Uzbek's secret service was in shock. It is necessary to remind keep in mind that legends such as this one became common in Russia after the Parliament rebellion was stifled in October, 1993. The only comment to Haknazarov's Internet article was written by Akhtam Shahnazarov, the Opposition Party representative, published on the same web site on July 24, 2005. The author states: “This propaganda is aimed at making people forget the real reasons for their problems… and only an investigation under the auspices of the UNO, punishing all guilty parties, can help to stop the growth of violence in this region.” Despite the favorable tone of the article we can see that author is himself guilty of ignorance in terms of his own knowledge about Jews: “There exists a group of people focused on Jewish superiority…. " Shahnazarov also states that it was the Jews who created “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”.



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