Tensions Rise in Russian Airport Protest Over Israeli Passengers
In a recent incident in southwestern Russia, a group of protesters stormed Makhachkala Airport in the Republic of Dagestan, reportedly searching for passengers from a flight that had originated in Tel Aviv. The demonstration, which took place on Sunday night, involved protesters flooding the airport while chanting anti-Israeli remarks.
As a result of the protest, the airport was compelled to close, and all incoming aircraft destined for Makhachkala were diverted, as confirmed by Russian aviation authority Rosaviatsia.
Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation reporter Amichai Stein reported that a small number of Jews and Israelis found themselves isolated at the airport during the protests. The demonstrators were heard shouting slogans such as “Allahu Akbar” and expressing anti-Semitic sentiments.
The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem responded to the situation by issuing a statement expressing deep concern over the safety of Israeli citizens and Jews in the region. They called upon Russian law enforcement authorities to protect these individuals and take strong measures against the rioters and the incitement of hatred.
Dagestan, the location of the protest, is a predominantly Muslim region, while Jews constitute a minority group in Russia, with an estimated 83,000 Jewish residents throughout the entire country.
Foreign affairs expert Rebekah Koffler highlighted the potential consequences of the protests, suggesting that they could pose a significant challenge for Russian President Vladimir Putin if the situation is not contained. Koffler emphasized the radicalization of some local Muslims due to historical factors and warned of the potential destabilizing effect on Muslim-populated regions in Russia, as well as the risk of sparking terrorism in major cities.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned the riots, describing them as “appalling” and accusing Russian officials of promoting hatred towards Jews. He argued that such incidents were not isolated but rather part of a broader culture of hostility toward other nations, which he claimed was propagated by state media, pundits, and authorities. Zelenskyy also pointed to a series of anti-Semitic remarks made by Russian officials, emphasizing the need to address hate rhetoric in the region.
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) October 29, 2023
Mobs in Dagestan, a Russian republic whose 3.2 million population is 83% Muslim, have stormed the airport after news spread that a plane has landed from Tel Aviv. They have spilled on to the tarmac and are moving from plane to plane in search of Jews to lynch.
Pray for Israel. pic.twitter.com/wfksaacndJ
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) October 29, 2023