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tv   Conflict Zone  Deutsche Welle  September 8, 2022 2:30am-3:01am CEST

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women in architecture, why are they so invisible to the larger public? we decided to ask them, what is the poetry, the secret of the house and hows about their struggles and dreams? for the responsibility is hugely has so much to leon. shattering the glass ceiling women in architecture. this has to be really, really good. start september 30th on d, w. m. rushes. jewish community has been watching the war in ukraine with mounting alarm, but most of kept silent, fearing state reprisals if they spoke out against the kremlin. and yet as the fighting intensified, a senior figure in the community felt that silence was immoral. so he fled moscow after 30 years, as the city's chief rabbi,
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in order to speak freely. and he joins me now from berlin. he's pink eye scotch, met president of the conference of european rabbis, and he wants all jews in russia to get out. now. his reasons, it is a the rise and anti semitism. b, the possibility of a closing of the iron curtain that it is going to be impossible to leave. and number 3 are the hardest hitting sanctions which are going to damage the economy long term in complex zone. this week we ask if you cranes, president volume is a landscape was right to criticize israel's response to the war. should you speak out whenever universal values are threatened? and will historians look back on this war as a wrong turning for russia while the start of a new dark age? rabbi pink us. goldsmith, welcome to conflict zone. tim, thank you for having me on your program. it's good to see you,
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your initial response to the february invasion if i can start with that. the february invasion of ukraine was basically to say nothing, not to support it, not to condemn it. in order you said not to get the jewish community into trouble. do you regret that initial response? you're considering the shark, her of for the single member of the community. i think girl, many of the citizens in russia, after actual invasion, most people actually thought her nothing is going to happen. i sat the day before with so many diplomats and members of parliament and others. and the said, oh, who needs ukraine? we don't need ukraine. and so it was a shock and it took time till a deregistered dirt. we are in here for an all out war. you said later, you realised keeping quiet in such circumstances is morally wrong. and yet that was
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the clear choice you made in the immediate aftermath of the invasion. i'm wondering why was it out of habit? it was the we we got. so i would say in the last years of her current regime, are we in the community basically whom we're like to hold for russian society. we're deep politicized. which means we did not comment her on political issues and we did not term her. and we did not get involved in politics in order not her not to get into trouble. because if you support a one way or the you do it either way, if you don't support the regime to near done your problems, however, are some ver, we understood that with dealing here with our european war
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her with some millions of refugees into jewish communities, which was being destroyed after being so difficult to rebuild after 3rd, the communist regime. after the break up the soviet union, m. o, i came to the realization that not every one i'mma i want to say just openly that are not only can we stay silent, we have to do something about. so in that case, have recent events in russia and your response to them compelled you to rethink your attitude to morality. what is a moral response to an invasion of this kind? no, i don't think that i am. i think that so since the changes which have happened in russia have been, i would say gradual,
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it has not been from one day to the next. so it was so difficult to pinpoint to the moment that you had to say enough is enough. i can not stay silent anymore. and however, the, the change that the major change in the country offer am waking up to 24th of february in the morning and seeing with them out with mass arrests. and every last her in the pen and media being shut down. or we understood her does was a major change or we're living in a different country with different rules. you say you were living in a different country, but you lived in a country where president putin had invaded unoccupied crimea, in 2014, he'd fuel the war in the dumbass where some,
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15000 people had died. so february 24th was a continuation of what had gone before, wasn't it? it was fully in line with the trajectory that his administration had been following . expanding russia's borders, clumping down on civil liberties at home, and killing enough political opponents for the rest to get the idea that that much had to be clear, wasn't it as possible? or when the earth with the crimea not one person died, doing her to take over the crimea. and her, i throw the question back to you. where was europe? where was it? we're where was the united states and with the white and they put all these very punching sanctions in 2014. why did the weight of 2022 good question. only put the question to them, but i'm, but i'm, i'm asking you, were you not aware that rights and universal rights were being trampled and
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people were being repressed and killed in russia during that period? it was um, i would say that number one, the, the people who were repressed her was an in smaller scale them and dirt. tim, i want to tell you that term boom, though red line between a democracy and also terry newsome is not the was clear. and when you pass from one system to the other. no, it's not always clear when is the red line passed? so whom is it when the no more free elections or is it when some people, critical of the regime are being jailed? it's so it's not always clear to that, you know,
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it's where and you have for quite a few countries where you pass from a demarc democracy to an authoritarianism. and until totalitarianism are the lines clear, the lights are not always clear on in hand. site is, is there a lesson that you took away from this? that staying silent is not an option where universal rights are being trampled and people are being repressed. i think 3rd thumb am in today's m situation where the, where the country has been invaded. and the millions and millions of refugees leaving this country. it is very important for every one to speak up. every one who can neither one can looking back. do you think if more people had spoken up and you talked about the western reaction you through the
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question back to me as if i was talking for the west. i'm not actually talking for the west, but, but if more people had spoken out both in russia and around the world, do you think that president putin might not have gone ahead with the full scale invasion? he launched in february i f. and i tend to think that if far as somebody who would have told on the 23rd of february 3rd to the kremlin, that sir, them reaction in our fir, the west of, for europe, the united states is going to be the one we have seen. i highly doubt that sir the crime and would have gone on no on with this war.
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so is the jewish community in russia now rethinking the practice of staying silent and keeping their head down and trying to stay out of trouble? should it you know, as well as i am, as i do that, are people who speak up of being fined or being arrested, or the business of being closed down. so it is very easy to go, criticize the russian regime from the safety of, of london or paris or berlin. it is much harder to do it if you live inside russia, businesses, they're your parents dear. you have children there. so it's a much easier to talk about it than actually to do it. but rabbi goldschmidt making the right moral decision can't always be a cost free exercise. can it take? am? yes it, it is. every person has a free choice and every person has to take to buy decision. so am i mom?
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am i am concerned about the future after jewish community in russia. and i'm not the only one concerned thousands and tense, thousands of jews have left the country since the beginning of the invasion. and should those who can i think that by leaving they have i'm so the by leaving they, everyone who left the country made a statement and, and, and should those who've left the country. what should that, what should their attitude be now? should they speak out? should they say whatever they need to say? i think that everyone in who has the possibility has to state and has to say what he thinks, what she thinks. and i am speaking to hundreds and thousands of
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members of my community and also of her, of her russians of other religions. i feel that they're not speaking with people outside of russia. i feel that is very little support for this war. a prominent politician for the minister, nate and sharon's gate, who was a, as you know, a dissident who was jailed in the soviet union refused. nick as they were called at the time. he says that if jews have the chance to get out of russia, they should take it, they should go. do you support that view? yes, i support the for your and for many reasons. and so the many reasons why jews to day and concern about the future and russia, it is a, the rise and anti semitism. b, the possibility of a closing of the iron curtain that it is going to be impossible to leave. and
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number 3 are the harder hitting sanctions which are going to damage the economy long term number for the possibility of the, of the there's going to be a general draft for the army and an end. and number 5 is der, widen repression of civil society. let me if i may take you back to the time when you made the decision, i'm in march to leave russia. you sent that after 2 weeks. so searching you left because you wanted to be able to speak out against the war and you'd been told the jewish community would suffer if you did that and stayed. can you clear up exactly what threats were aimed at you personally, and by whom? i think that um it was not only the possibility of speaking out a speaking out is important, but to ask, you know,
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judaism is the religion of deeds. is that only a religion of thoughts or beliefs? it is the actual deed which is important for us. and we call this di da mitzvah. and speaking out, as has been secondary 1st and most important has been the feeling and the realization that we have to do something to help those thousands of refugees of our committees who had to leave to eastern europe. we're just with 3rd, maybe with one suitcase who didn't have a roofer on the heads than that's what we did. we established under the aegis of the conference or european rabbis does fund to an international fund to help ukraine refugees now been visiting. i left russia to visits and in eastern european capitalism would of personal war. so and also a new mania, all those thousands of jewish refugees and other refugees went there. and we have
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established programs for the integration of, for the help with those refugees. so speaking out has been secondary, the number one mitzo, the one number, one in deed which we had to do is to help my question was about the threats that you personally received. how graphic, how clear were these threats? i think that if her, you are a clergyman living, no certain country you can identify as you understand when the, when are you getting messages from certain quarters and it doesn't always have to a personal it, it can be communal as well. so what was said to you, and by whom i don't want to go into more details there. louder still, many members of the community living in russia, continuing to work there with people in the clergy. we have rabbis with community
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leaders at this moment. i don't want to go into dieters. one or 2 jewish leaders in russia did speak out and did refuse to tow the official line. couldn't you have done the same and stayed in russia? m if so, i don't think that i was been a i don't think i would been able to help and to establish, to so pull structure to help refugees staying in russia. and i don't think i would have been able to communicate or to the world, to the jewish world, to deter and to the world at large the issues and challenges we are facing. did leaving russia feel in any way like running away. i think that, ah, if i have been the only one making this decision,
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maybe you it i am i, i can tell you one thing. i have a very good friend, shazlaw come she is one of the leading journalists are in the opposition and her earnestly. she was quite absurd to the left, but saw a month later she lost herself. so you felt vindicated? it's not a question or feeling of vindicated. it is a question of fur of him to day. we have tens of thousands of members of my community who are living outside russia. i would say, if we're talking about people who used to can't, i was synagogues, i would say, even the majority is outside of russia. my committee is all over the world there and then do by then israel, they london and in germany and her, their immigration to israel, from russia was her twice as high than from ukraine to the last her sister. and
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since to was dotted and i'm responsible for the wider community and i was also believed it, i'll be able to help our community, which stayed on in russia better from the outside of done from the inside. rabbi goldschmidt, it seems the relations between senior jewish figures in russia and ukraine have been badly damaged by the events in recent months. um, in march ukraine's chief rabbi marcia as man roundly condemned leaders of the russian jewish community and said, your failure to denounce the invasion was tantamount to complicity. how hard is it going to be to repair those ties? i don't know. there were some leaders who supported innovation. i don't want to in express myself. i don't want to judge them. who am i to judge? i can tell you that my relationship with our ukraine and colleagues is wonderful.
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and did you call rabbi as man he says, when he said i'm talking to you. dear russians. dear jews, remember that one who is indifferent is an accomplice to war crimes, crimes against humanity. i stand with the holy tor and i tell you to wake up hardly any one he said has called me, do you understand the sense of abandonment that he had from the jewish community? i for sure i was sure i can feel it in ukraine doesn't have only one she for rabbi, by the way, you know, we have a quite a we have i think 3 chief robinson ukraine and we are in touch with them and i myself a just 3 weeks ago spent a whole long weekend in the town of neptune in romania, with a 1200 refugees from odessa with the chief elbow. vanessa so ill,
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we're in touch with our colleagues from ukraine. and i also spoke a few days ago to a group of new immigrants from russia and ukraine in jerusalem. and he had over there in the room. he had about 4050 young people. and they came from moscow from other cities in russia, and from odessa and from kia, and from nicola, even from out of your book. and you should see those people just sitting together trying to help each other in the new country. they all left the country's walgreens, not because they wanted to, but because of the impossibility to stay a talking of helping the ukrainians president zelinski himself. a jew has had harsh words for what he sees as israel's inadequate response to the conflict. to israel's mediation efforts, he said that can be no mediation between good and evil. he has appoint, doesn't he i want to tell you those people who want to criticize as well for not
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going or not joining europe with sanctions against them. against russia. i want to remind them that this one is not buying oil and gas from russia is, was not financing to war. it is you're buying garzon oil from russia is financing to warren russia. some of that criticism. rabbi goldsmith has come from inside israel itself, the former prime minister, air hood alma for instance, he didn't think much of the government's reaction in february. there are times he said, when you have to decide who you are, what you stand for, you can't fool around. you can't fool yourself. if israel were like america trying to rally its allies, would we like our best friend saying? well, there are pros and cons and we've got other things to think about. he's not saying do the easy thing. he's saying do the right thing. you have no sympathy with him
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when his views okay. the some ways they're to europe or is just trying to do the right thing, but it obviously it is impossible to leave elderly people or children in unheeded homes and middle of december and january the same way. israel cannot leave millions of people prone to attacks from rockets for his bela and from the iranian sponsor to guerrillas in lebanon and syria. so each country wants to join, wants to join the sanction regime or to criticize, however, each country has their priorities to to protect their citizens 1st. but rabbi goldsmith, ukrainians are fighting for their lives and the survival of their unit, treat state. and israel is saying, yeah, well, it's terrible, but we've got more important security concerns to worry about with iran and syria. you said in july,
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nowadays the world is looking at his rail and the jewish people and expects us to be on the moral high ground. and i'm just wondering whether this position is the moral high ground you want to occupy within israel itself, you have a discussion among it might become an issue in the upcoming elections november among political leaders, to what extent israel should be involved should not be involved in this conflict, so israel m m, i would say m is a right now has taken a position, a yellow pete. the current prime minister of israel has taken position, criticizing russia. and i want to tell you term that or israel has a had problems because of it. russia decided to close. the jewish agency doesn't happen from one day to the next. there was a reason for it. do you regard the changes in russia as irreversible?
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rabbi goldschmidt will historians look back on this in your view as a wrong turn for russia or the beginning of a new dark age in the country. right now. i think that her rushes entering her, appears of deep isolation or a new, almost her totally closed iron curtain with europe, not with asia, but with europe. and her i sinkter term does a d the coming period is going to be very difficult? do you foresee, ever going back? do you want to go back? as you know, we have to be optimists and i hope that one they'll be able to go back by pink us. goldsmith, it's been good to have you on conflict. so thank you very much indeed. for your
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time, thank you. thanks. attempts, inviting, ah ah, ah, with
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